Low-income children's pretend play: The contributory influences of individual and contextual factors

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonghee Shim (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Linda Hestenes

Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine the contributory influences of individual and contextual factors that are associated with the complexity of pretend play in low-income preschool children. Forty-seven children and their teachers from six Head Start classrooms in Guilford County, North Carolina, participated in the study. Children's play behavior and their verbalization were video recorded using a camcorder and a wireless microphone for 10 minutes on two separate days during free play period. In addition, information on children's current language competence was collected using the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT). Lead teachers completed the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale (PIPPS), a teacher rating scale of children's social skills. A teacher survey on children's pretend play provided descriptive information regarding teachers' beliefs about the importance of pretend play and relevant teaching practice. Individual factors investigated in the study included age, gender, language competence, and social skills. Contextual factors examined in the study included use of low-structure materials, level of peer involvement, peer language competence, and social configuration of the play group. The results showed that a combination of contextual factors (use of low-structure materials, level of peer involvement, and peer language competence) strongly predicted the complexity of pretend play. The social configuration of the play group was also found to be associated with the complexity of pretend play. Level of peer involvement and peer language competence were the most significant predictors in the complexity of pretend play in the study. Limitations as well as implications for future research are discussed.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2007
Keywords
Poor children, Education, Preschool, Play, Sociological aspects, Play assessment, Child psychology