ERIC Number: ED215761
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Toddlers' Social Play.
Jennings, Kay D.; Curry, Nancy E.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of group size on toddlers' peer interactions and social interactions with mothers. In particular, the study sought to answer the following questions: (1) When both mothers and peers are available to the child, with whom does he/she prefer to play? and (2) Are there differences in the types of social behaviors directed to peers and mothers? Subjects, 5 girls and 11 boys, were observed while interacting in both a group and a dyadic setting. To assess interaction in a group, toddlers and their mothers were observed during a regular free play session for a period of one hour over two or three days. To assess interaction in a dyad, each pair of children and their mothers were observed for 15 minutes while interacting in a nursery school classroom. (Mothers were asked not to initiate interaction with their children.) Subjects' positive and negative behaviors (e.g., giving an object versus struggling over an object) and whether the behaviors were directed toward another child or an adult were recorded. Results indicated that size of group had no effect on the frequency or type of behavior directed towards peers. Whether in dyads or groups, the children interacted with peers very infrequently. However, size of group did have an effect on the frequency of behaviors directed towards adults. The children interacted much more with their mothers in the group setting then they did in the dyad setting. For example, the children talked to their mothers 28 times in the group setting and 21 times in the dyad setting. The children also played together with their mothers nine times in the group setting and less than once (i.e., less than 15 seconds) in the dyad setting. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Childrens Preferences; Dyads; Toddlers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Anthropological Study of Play (London, Ontario, Canada, April 1982).