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ERIC Number: EJ1016170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
The Role of Make-Believe Play in the Development of Executive Function: Status of Research and Future Directions
Berk, Laura E.; Meyers, Adena B.
American Journal of Play, v6 n1 p98-110 Fall 2013
The authors discuss the association between make-believe play and the development of executive-function (EF) skills in young children. Some forty years ago, Lev S. Vygotsky first proposed that make-believe fosters the development of symbolic thought and self-regulation. Since then, a small body of research has produced evidence of an association between pretend play and such EF skills as inhibitory control, but its results have been inconclusive and more studies are needed. Still, some research points to the potential mediating role of private speech in the association between pretense and EF, and other evidence suggests that adults can support children's EF development by facilitating and encouraging (but not controlling) young children's make-believe play. Yet other research indicates that the influence of make-believe on EF may be moderated by child characteristics and by the content and themes of play. The authors specifically call for more research on the potential causal link between pretense and EF development in early childhood.
Descriptors: Play, Executive Function, Young Children, Child Development, Cognitive Development, Inhibition, Self Control, Fantasy, Research, Inner Speech (Subvocal), Adults, Influences, Evidence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A