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Fawcett, C. et al. (2012) Mimicry and play initiation in 18-month-old infants (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Across two experiments, we examined the relationship between 18-month-old infants' mimicry and social behavior - particularly invitations to play with an adult play partner. In Experiment 1, we manipulated whether an adult mimicked the infant's play or not during an initial play phase. We found that infants who had been mimicked were subsequently more likely to invite the adult to join their play with a new toy. In addition, they reenacted marginally more steps from a social learning demonstration she gave. In Experiment 2, infants had the chance to spontaneously mimic the adult during the play phase. Complementing Experiment 1, those infants who spent more time mimicking the adult were more likely to invite her to play with a new toy. This effect was specific to play and not apparent in other communicative acts, such as directing the adult's attention to an event or requesting toys. Together, the results suggest that infants use mimicry as a tool to establish social connections with others and that mimicry has specific influences on social behaviors related to initiating subsequent joint interactions.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
35
Page/s:
689-696
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Object play
  • Play with other adult
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Freeman, S. et al. (2013) Parent-child interactions in autism: characteristics of play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Although the literature on parent-child interactions in young children with autism has examined dyadic style, synchrony, and sustained engagement, the examination of parental skill in sustaining and developing play skills themselves has not been targeted. This study examined the extent to which parents of young children with autism match and scaffold their child's play. Sixteen dyads of parents and their children with autism participated in this study along with 16 matched dyads of typically developing children. Both groups were administered a structured play assessment and were observed during a 10-min free play situation. Strategies of play were examined and results revealed that parents of children with autism initiated more play schemes and suggested and commanded play acts more than parents of typical children. They also responded to their child's play acts more often with a higher level play act, while parents of typical children matched/expanded their responses to their child. Parent imitation was also related to longer sequences of play. The findings can guide further research and play intervention for parents.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Volume:
17
Page/s:
147-161
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Engagement
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play assessment
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Nielsen, M. et al. (2008) Adult modelling facilitates young children's generation of novel pretend acts (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The present work investigated the effect of modelling on children's pretend play behaviour. Thirty-seven children aged between 27 and 41 months were given 4 min of free play with a dollhouse and associated toy props (pre-modelling phase). Using dolls, an experimenter then acted out a series of vignettes involving object substitutions, imaginary play and attribution of properties. Children were subsequently provided with an additional 4 min free play (post-modelling phase). Consistent with past research, more pretence was exhibited after modelling than before. Furthermore, in the post-modelling phase, children were as likely to generate their own novel pretence as they were to copy the actions demonstrated by the experimenter. They also increased the number of novel symbolic acts involving imaginary play from the pre- to the post-modelling phase. This study highlights how young children will not only imitate a model's demonstration of pretend acts but also use this demonstration to catalyze the creation of their own pretence. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date:
January 2008
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
17
Page/s:
151–162
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: