ERIC Number: ED282658
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
An Investigation of Children's Imaginative and Social Play in Relation to Family Structure, Maternal Stress, and Attitudes about Play.
Since imaginative play has been found to be related to multiple social and cognitive skills, it is important to explore possible family variables that are significantly related to such behavior. The purpose of the study was to examine the level of imaginative and social play of children in relation to three family issues: (a) family structure (single- versus dual-parent household), (b) mothers' level of stress, and (c) mothers' beliefs and attitudes about play. Forty children, ranging in age from 4 years to 5 years and 11 months, and their mothers participated in the study. Of these children, 20 lived in dual-parent families and 20 in single-parent families. Two observational instruments were used to collect data on the play of children: the Peer Play Scale, which measures social play, and the Play Observation Scale, which measures imaginative play. The mothers were administered the following instruments: Parent's Attitude about Play and Development, Home/Play Environment Inventory, and the Parent Stress Index. Results indicated there was no significant main effect for family structure. However, children from single- and dual-parent homes exhibit different play behaviors with regard to varying levels of maternal stress. Parents' attitudes toward play affected children's play behaviors in various ways. Parent participation significantly reduced the liklihood of simple play for children who were exploring, repeating physical movements, and playing with language. (BN)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Baltimore, MD, April 23-26, 1987).