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Baker, C. (2014) African American Fathers' Contributions to Children's Early Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two-Parent Families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Research Findings: This study utilized a large sample ("N" = 750) of 2-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the contributions of African American fathers' home literacy involvement, play activities, and caregiving at 24 months to children's reading and math achievement in preschool. After family characteristics and child characteristics were controlled for, both mother and father characteristics predicted child achievement. Mother age predicted math achievement but not reading. Furthermore, even after mother predictors were entered into the hierarchical regressions, fathers' education and home literacy involvement also significantly predicted achievement. African American fathers who engaged in more frequent shared book reading, telling stories, singing songs, and provided more children's books in their homes at 24 months had children with better reading and math scores in preschool. Practice or Policy: These findings support growing evidence that fathers contribute to child development. Implications for research on early academic achievement in ethnically diverse samples are discussed.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
19-35
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Physical play
  • Play with Father
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:

Barrett, E. et al. (2014) Exposure to prenatal life events stress is associated with masculinized play behavior in girls (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Previous research has shown that prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can alter children's neurodevelopment, including sex-typed behavior, and that it can do so in different ways in males and females. Non-chemical exposures, including psychosocial stress, may disrupt the prenatal hormonal milieu as well. To date, only one published study has prospectively examined the relationship between exposure to prenatal stress and gender-specific play behavior during childhood, finding masculinized play behavior in girls who experienced high prenatal life events stress, but no associations in boys. Here we examine this question in a second prospective cohort from the Study for Future Families. Pregnant women completed questionnaires on stressful life events during pregnancy, and those who reported one or more events were considered "stressed". Families were recontacted several years later (mean age of index child: 4.9 years), and mothers completed a questionnaire including the validated Preschool Activities Inventory (PSAI), which measures sexually dimorphic play behavior. In sex-stratified analyses, after adjusting for child's age, parental attitudes toward gender-atypical play, age and sex of siblings, and other relevant covariates, girls (n=72) exposed to prenatal life events stress had higher scores on the PSAI masculine sub-scale (β=3.48, p=0.006) and showed a trend toward higher (more masculine) composite scores (β=2.63, p=0.08). By contrast, in males (n=74), there was a trend toward an association between prenatal stress and higher PSAI feminine sub-scale scores (β=2.23, p=0.10), but no association with masculine or composite scores. These data confirm previous findings in humans and animal models suggesting that prenatal stress is a non-chemical endocrine disruptor that may have androgenic effects on female fetuses and anti-androgenic effects on male fetuses.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
41
Page/s:
20-27
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
  • Longitudinal
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Baruni, R. et al. (2014) Using lag schedules to increase toy play variability for children with intellectual disabilities (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Relatively few studies have evaluated procedures for increasing play skills in children with intellectual disabilities. To address this limitation, this study evaluated the extent to which lag schedules increased novel toy play responses for three children who exhibited little or no appropriate toy play. Results show that the lag 1 schedule increased toy play variability for all three participants and the lag 2 schedule produced very little additional variability for the two participants exposed to this condition. The results of a social validity assessment suggest that classroom paraprofessionals (i) perceived the participants' toy play as typical and (ii) were satisfied with the outcomes produced by the lag schedules. We discuss the clinical implications and the potential limitations of the findings. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
29
Page/s:
21-35
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Conner, J. et al. (2014) A Play and Language Intervention for Two-Year-Old Children: Implications for Improving Play Skills and Language (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to develop an intervention for 2-year-old children to enhance play and language skills. The intervention was implemented over a 4-week period and included components of reading, modeling, and positive reinforcement of language and play. Specifically, children were read a story and played with a matching toy set. Participants included 10 children, all age 2, who attended a child care center. Five participants received the play intervention, and five were used as comparison. All children were assessed using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES), the Preschool Language Scale (PLS), and a Vocabulary Assessment. The results of this study showed that children who received the intervention increased pretend play more than the comparison group and also increased comprehension and expressive communication skills more than the comparison group. Implications for early childhood educators and parents are discussed.

Date:
January 2014
Volume:
28
Page/s:
221-237
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Play, . (2017) National Institute for Play (Web Page)

Abstract:

The National Institute for Play is a 501c(3) non-profit public benefit corporation committed to bringing the unrealized knowledge, practices and benefits of play into public life. It is gathering research from diverse play scientists and practitioners, initiating projects to expand the clinical scientific knowledge of human play and translating this emerging body of knowledge into programs and resources which deliver the transformative power of play to all segments of society.

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
  • Non-profit
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Yu, S. et al. (2015) The Relationship between Preschoolers' Attitudes and Play Behaviors toward Classmates with Disabilities (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study was conducted to examine the relationship between 32 typically developing preschoolers' attitudes and play behaviors toward their classmates with disabilities or developmental delays. Children's attitudes toward peers with disabilities were assessed using three methods: child interviews, sociometric peer ratings, and a social acceptance scale. Children's play behaviors (e.g., solitary, onlooker, parallel play, associative/cooperative play) and teachers' involvement in children's play were observed during free play over a 10-week period. Results revealed that children's identification of a classmate with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as having a disability was negatively related to their associative/cooperative play with the classmate. Typically developing children's sociometric ratings of classmates with disabilities were positively related to their associative/cooperative play with classmates with disabilities. In addition, children's sociometric ratings were a stronger indicator of whether a typically developing child would play with a classmate with a disability than was identification of a classmate as having a disability. Suggestions for future research and implications for practice are discussed.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
35
Page/s:
40-51
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Collaborative skills
  • Correlational
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Peers play
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Zyga, O. et al. (2015) Assessment of Pretend Play in Prader-Willi Syndrome: A Direct Comparison to Autism Spectrum Disorder (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including pervasive social deficits. While play impairments in ASD are well documented, play abilities in PWS have not been evaluated. Fourteen children with PWS and ten children with ASD were administered the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) (Lord et al. in Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule manual. Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles, 2006) as part of a larger project. A modified Affect in Play Scale (APS; Russ in Play in child development and psychotherapy: toward empirically supported practice. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, Mahwah, 2004; Pretend play in childhood: foundation of adult creativity. APA Books, Washington, 2014) was used to score ADOS play activities. Results indicate both groups scored below normative data on measures of imagination, organization, and affective expression during individual play. In addition, the inclusion of a play partner in both groups increased all scaled scores on the APS. These findings suggest children with PWS show impaired pretend play abilities similar to ASD. Further research is warranted and should focus on constructing and validating programs aimed at improving symbolic and functional play abilities within these populations.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
45
Page/s:
975-987
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Solitary play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: