Preschoolers' outdoor pretend play and social competence: do individual and home factors play a role?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jiayao Li (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Linda Hestenes

Abstract: As one of the most advanced play forms in childhood, pretend play has demonstrated positive associations with child development in several domains. However, little research has been done to look at the association between pretend play and social skills. By observing children's outdoor pretend play, the main purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between different types of pretend play and children's social skills, and also to examine the effects of several individual and home factors on this potential relationship. Results showed that overall pretend play was positively associated with assertiveness. Abstract pretend play was positively associated with assertiveness and cooperation. Social pretend play was positively associated with assertiveness, cooperation, and self-control. Social pretend play predicted all three social skills above and beyond other types of pretend play. No significant interaction was found for individual factors and pretend play. Parents' beliefs were significantly associated with children's social pretend play.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Parents' beliefs, Pretend play, Social skills
Social interaction in children
Symbolic play
Play $x Psychological aspects
Play $x Social aspects
Outdoor recreation for children

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