ERIC Number: ED124271
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Reference Count: 0
Pretend Play: Sex Differences and Maternal Influences Between 12 and 18 Months.
Fein, Greta G.
This study investigated the pretend play behavior of 16 boys and girls aged 12 and 18 months. Each child was presented a standard set of stimulus materials during two home visits. For each of three 10-minute episodes, the child's pretend activities were recorded by means of a coded observation schedule. During episode 1 the child played alone, during episode 2 the child played alone or with the mother (with order reversed across visits), and during episode 3 the child played alone. Analysis of the data suggested that pretending with age, and that mothers enhanced the play of older girls. A developmental progression from self-directed to other-directed activities was also indicated. Analysis of sex differences showed that differences in pretending may appear as early as 12 months of age and that girls are involved more than boys in other-directed nurturing activities and in the use of representations of animate objects. The effect of the mothers on pretend behaviors was examined and it is suggested that although sex differences in overall level of pretending may stem from direct adult interventions, the selective maternal enhancement of sex stereotyped patterns was not found. The results suggest that in a semi-naturalistic situation, mothers differentially influence the tendency of a child to engage in pretend play behaviors, not the content of the pretend behavior. (GO)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT.