ERIC Number: ED270228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Tea for Two: Joint Mother-Child Symbolic Play.
DeLoache, Judy S.; Plaetzer, Beth
This paper poses three questions about early symbolic or pretend play. (1) How does the child's play differ when the child is alone or with his mother? (2) How does the mother influence her child's play? (3) What are the long-term consequences of joint mother-child play? A study conducted with 32 mother-child pairs equally divided by sex of child and distributed across 4 age groups, including 15-, 18-, 24-, and 30-month-old children, involved videotaped solitary and joint play sessions. Play behavior was coded using a nine-point scale with three levels of non-pretend play and six levels of pretend play. Generally, joint play was found to be more sophisticated than solitary play. To a great extent, mothers prompted or directed their children's pretend play. Mothers made numerous suggestions, often demonstrated how real actions are performed, and corrected incorrect performance. Age differences were associated with differences in the type of corrections given to children. Younger children's execution of actions and object substitutions were corrected and older children's play "scripts" were corrected. Mothers' corrections frequently extended or elaborated on children's play, adding detail and drama, and served several functions, while providing structure for interaction and support for children's efforts. Data demonstrated the plausibility of the hypothesis that joint play is an important developmental force. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 25-28, 1985).