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ERIC Number: ED130758
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Social Competence of Play.
Fein, Greta G.
This is a study of how young children gain social competence through pretend play or role playing. Subjects were 38 Caucasian children (19 females, 19 males) who were observed at four ages: 12, 18, 24 and 30 months. The same set of toys, which included a doll, a saucepan, doll bottles, coffee mug, teacup, teaspoon, doll crib, blanket, toy phone and dump truck, was presented to children of all ages during individual 10-minute sessions. After a short interval of free play, pretend play activities were encouraged with such statements as "The baby is hungry, feed the baby". Results showed that the percentage of children who pretended to feed increased from 42 percent at 12 months to 95 percent at 30 months, with the greatest leap between 12 to 18 months. There was also a shift from self as a recipient agent to the doll as a recipient agent. Even at 12 months children demonstrated little confusion between eating utensils. At 18 months, feeding is the predominant activity with the doll; older children were more likely to put the doll to sleep, dress, spank, and scold, etc. It is supposed that children create an informal child culture which changes in structure with increasing maturity. It is in the privacy and safety of play, with its principles of entry and organization, that children coordinate their movement toward the mastery of basic social conventions and principles. (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 19-23, 1976)