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Coplan, R. et al. (2014) ‘I want to play alone’: Assessment and correlates of self‐reported preference for solitary play in young children. (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The goal of this study was to develop and validate an interview assessment of preference for solitary activities for use with young children. We also tested the postulation that negative peer experiences would heighten preference for solitude, particularly among young shy children. Participants were N = 193 children (87 boys, 106 girls; Mage = 65.76 mos, SD = 12.68) attending preschools and elementary schools (kindergarten, grade 1) located in south‐eastern Ontario, Canada. Self‐reported preference for solitude was measured with the newly developed Preference for Solitary Play Interview (PSPI). Children also reported their perceived peer acceptance. Mothers provided ratings of children's social withdrawal (shyness and unsociability) and social engagement outside of school, and teachers assessed children's socio‐emotional functioning at school. Among the results, the newly developed PSPI displayed good psychometric properties and evidence of construct/convergent validity. For example, preference for solitary play was positively related to indices of social withdrawal, and negatively associated with social engagement, prosocial behaviour, and perceived peer acceptance. In addition, peer exclusion was found to exacerbate the association between shyness and preference for solitary play. Results are discussed in terms of the assessment and implications of preference for solitude in early childhood. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
23
Page/s:
229-238
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Social-emotional
  • Solitary play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Dender, A. et al. (2011) Development of the Indigenous Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment: Selection of play materials and administration (Journal Article)

Abstract:

BACKGROUND/AIM: There is a need for culturally appropriate assessments for Australian Indigenous children. This article reports the selection of culturally appropriate and gender-neutral play materials, and changes in administration identified to develop further the Indigenous Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment (I-ChIPPA).
METHOD: Twenty-three typically developing children aged four to six years from the Pilbara region in Western Australia participated in the study. Children were presented with four sets of play materials and frequency counts were recorded for each time the child used one of the play materials in a pretend play action. Twelve of the 23 children came to play in pairs.
RESULTS: Both boys and girls used the Pilbara toy set including the dark coloured dolls and Pilbara region animals, more frequently than the standardised play materials from the Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment (ChIPPA).
CONCLUSION: This study reports the first steps in the development of the I-ChIPPA. Future development will include the refinement of the administration and scoring with pairs of children, and then validity testing the assessment.

Date:
January 2011
Volume:
58
Page/s:
34-42
Synonyms:
  • Cultural context
  • Object play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:

Eberhart, J. (2018) Play Piece: Play, Self-regulation, Executive Function and the Classroom Context (Blog Post)

Abstract:

How and why do playful approaches to teaching support the development of self-regulation?

Read our whole Play Piece here.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2018
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:

Fallon, J. et al. (2013) Free play time of children with learning disabilities in a noninclusive preschool setting: An analysis of play and nonplay behaviours. (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Some children with disabilities go to special preschools where adults help them play. The adults who work in preschools sometimes ask occupational therapists for advice to help children play more. Occupational therapists need to know how children play when not helped by adults. This study videoed children playing both with lots of toys and without toys to see how they chose to play. Within the Republic of Ireland, young children with learning disabilities may attend special preschools where they do not share any part of their day with typically developing children. Within these settings, preschool staff support children's play. Clinicians such as occupational therapists may be called upon to assist in progressing their play. To provide appropriate recommendations, occupational therapists must have a clear understanding of what play a child with learning disabilities engages in when not supported by adults. Occupational therapy literature described play as the most common occupation of children with a focus on process‐driven activity. This may be at odds with a model of early intervention, where play is often product‐driven, with the end goal in mind. The aim of this research was to establish what free play, if any, children with learning disabilities engage in when not supported by adults in an Irish preschool setting. Secondly, this study sought to describe what behaviours these children engage in when they were not playing. Finally, this study sought to establish inter‐rater reliability of the Revised Know Preschool Play Scale with this small sample. Systematic observation was used to explore the play and nonplay behaviours of the children involved. A convenience sample was used to identify five children to participate in the study. Results indicated that children engaged in free play within the sensory motor stage of development, as assessed using the Revised Knox Preschool Play Scale. They also spent significant time in nonplay behaviours. The behaviour patterns of the children and time spent in different activities were explored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Volume:
41
Page/s:
212-219
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Engagement
  • Exploratory play
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Playfulness
  • Pretend play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fasoli, A. (2014) To Play or Not to Play: Diverse Motives for Latino and Euro-American Parent-Child Play in a Children's Museum (Journal Article)

Abstract:

A popular social discourse in the United States is that play is important for children's learning and that parental involvement maximizes play's learning potential. Past research has concluded that parents who hold this view of play are more likely to play with their children than those who do not. This study investigated the prevalence of this view among Euro-American and immigrant Latino parents of young children in order to illuminate the extent to which it uniquely and uniformly motivates parent-child play. Parents' models of play were assessed through interviews and naturalistic observations in a children's museum. Analysis revealed ethnic group differences in parent-child play that corresponded with parental beliefs about play. Within-group analysis, however, revealed diversity in the ways that these play behaviours and beliefs came together to comprise parents' models of play. Discussion focuses on the social nature of play, the dynamic nature of culture, and the issue of individual subject validity. Implications for the interpretation of parent--child play in early childhood settings are considered.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
23
Page/s:
605-621
Synonyms:
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play assessment
Relevant age group/s:

Fearn, M. et al. (2012) Play as a Resource for Children Facing Adversity: An Exploration of Indicative Case Studies (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In this paper, we suggest that the ability and opportunity to play affords children a natural resource to meet intellectual and emotional challenge. Analysis of case studies focusing on interventions with children caught in the bombing of Beirut, children abandoned to the state system in Romania, and the street children in Rio de Janeiro and Cali is used to support this view. When resources are in deficit, challenge is more likely to become adversity. The impact of adversity is particular to context, but comparison across contexts also shows connections between children’s disparate experiences. Analysis confirms that given the opportunity, children interact with and influence their environment through play and that this process provides a resource to meet the challenge of adversity.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
456-468
Synonyms:
  • Exploratory play
  • Games with rules
  • Mental health
  • Pretend play
  • Socio-economic background
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fisher, K. et al. (2013) Taking Shape: Supporting Preschoolers' Acquisition of Geometric Knowledge Through Guided Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Shape knowledge, a key aspect of school readiness, is part of early mathematical learning. Variations in how children are exposed to shapes may affect the pace of their learning and the nature of their shape knowledge. Building on evidence suggesting that child-centered, playful learning programs facilitate learning more than other methods, 4- to 5-year-old children (N = 70) were taught the properties of four geometric shapes using guided play, free play, or didactic instruction. Results revealed that children taught shapes in the guided play condition showed improved shape knowledge compared to the other groups, an effect that was still evident after 1 week. Findings suggest that scaffolding techniques that heighten engagement, direct exploration, and facilitate “sense-making,” such as guided play, undergird shape learning.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
n/a–n/a
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Playful learning
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Guided-play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Gauntlett, D. et al. (2017) Cultures of Creativity (Report)

Abstract:

Cultures develop when people find ways to play, make, and share. This report describes how human cultures can be characterised by their similarities rather than their differences, and emphasises the importance of recognising playfulness and creativity to develop societies prepared to accommodate the rapid changes associated with technology and globalisation.

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Goldstein, T. et al. (2017) Dramatic pretend play games uniquely improve emotional control in young children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Pretense is a naturally occurring, apparently universal activity for typically developing children. Yet its function and effects remain unclear. One theorized possibility is that pretense activities, such as dramatic pretend play games, are a possible causal path to improve children's emotional development. Social and emotional skills, particularly emotional control, are critically important for social development, as well as academic performance and later life success. However, the study of such approaches has been criticized for potential bias and lack of rigor, precluding the ability to make strong causal claims. We conducted a randomized, component control (dismantling) trial of dramatic pretend play games with a low-SES group of 4-year-old children (N = 97) to test whether such practice yields generalized improvements in multiple social and emotional outcomes. We found specific effects of dramatic play games only on emotional self-control. Results suggest that dramatic pretend play games involving physicalizing emotional states and traits, pretending to be animals and human characters, and engaging in pretend scenarios in a small group may improve children's emotional control. These findings have implications for the function of pretense and design of interventions to improve emotional control in typical and atypical populations. Further, they provide support for the unique role of dramatic pretend play games for young children, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/2GVNcWKRHPk

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
e12603
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
  • Social-emotional
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:

Hart, S. (2016) Inclusion, Play and Empathy (Book)

Abstract:

Contributions from early childhood educators, teachers, psychologists, music therapists, occupational therapists, and psychotherapists highlight the crucial role that early relationships and interactions in group settings play in the development of children's personal, emotional and social skills. The book features the latest research and methods for successfully encouraging the development of these skills in groups of children aged 4-12. It explores how play within children's groups can be facilitated in order to foster emotional and empathic capacities, how to overcome common challenges to inclusion in schools and introduces practical, creative approaches to cultivating a sense of unity and team spirit in children's groups.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Games with rules
  • Learning
  • Mental health
  • Musical play
  • Peers play
  • Physical play
  • Self-regulation
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Well-being outcomes
Research discipline: