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ERIC Number: ED161547
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Pages: 81
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Methodological Issues in Studying Symbolic Play.
Nicolich, Lorraine McCune
This article provides a comparative analysis of studies in which symbolic play in children ages 1 through 3 was the major focus of a formal research strategy. The review provides readers with (1) information allowing more effective evaluation of research involving symbolic play and (2) background for designing or adopting play measurement techniques for use in their own research. The first section concerns the definition of symbolic play and sequences of development that have been empirically observed. Discussion focuses on structural analysis of symbolic play behaviors, role and object substitution in symbolic play, and planning and sequencing of pretend acts. In the second section paradigms used in the various investigations are compared and inferences are made concerning the influence of methodological choices on the results observed. Home vs. laboratory investigations, mother role in symbolic play studies, experimenter roles in play assessment, and toys and other objects are examined. The final section suggests research directions both for those who would investigate the nature and development of symbolic play, and for those who wish to measure symbolic play ability for comparison with other variables. Findings of the studies reviewed indicate that order of acquisition of the earlier types of symbolic play can be specified while sequencing of later appearing behaviors remains in question. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A