ERIC Number: ED119806
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive and Social Dimensions of Pretending in Two-Year-Olds.
Fein, Greta G.; Robertson, Anne
This study recorded the pretend play behavior of a total of 22 boys and girls aged 20 and 26 months to determine the effects of age, sex, toy type, and order of toy presentation on the amount of pretending observed during two home visits. Each visit consisted of three segments: two play episodes of 10 minutes each and an intervening segment of approximately 40 minutes in which each child performed on standard cognitive tasks. During the play episodes each child was presented with high prototypical toys and less prototypical toys. An observer continuously tracked the child's activities on a tape recorder with a 10-second time base and a coded observation schedule; the tapes were transcribed to obtain for each play episode measures of "pretend frequency,""variation on pretend," and "total play activity." Results indicate that (1) although pretending with less prototypical toys was depressed when children were 20 months of age, it increased with age for both sexes; (2) with highly prototypical materials, girls' pretending increased between 20 and 26 months of age, whereas boys' pretending decreased; and (3) pretending increased as children became more familiar with the situation. These findings are discussed in terms of theoretical formulations which interpret early pretending as an index of the child's acquisition of mental representations which code objects, activities, and social rules. (GO)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Children's Bureau (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT.