Article

Changes in Children's Pretend Play Over Two Decades

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Abstract

There is growing recognition that children have less time to engage in play, and, concurrently, recent evidence suggests a decrease in divergent thinking ability in young children. This study investigated changes in pretend play ability during a 23-year period. The same standardized measure of pretend play, the Affect in Play Scale (APS; Russ, 199331. Russ , S. W. ( 1993 ). Affect in creativity: The role of affect and play in the creative process . Hillsdale , NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates . View all references; 200432. Russ , S. W. ( 2004 ). Play in child development and psychotherapy: Toward empirically supported practice . Mahwah , NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers . View all references), was the measure of pretend play in all studies. This puppet play task is videotaped and scored from the tapes. Fourteen studies of children from 6 to 10 years of age in school-based samples from 1985–2008 were included in the analyses. A cross-temporal meta-analysis examined correlations between weighted mean scores and year of data collection. Main findings were that imagination in play and comfort with play significantly increased over time. There was no evidence of change in organization of the story or in overall expression of affect in play. When one outlier was removed, there was a significant decrease in negative affect expression in play. Even though children have less time to play, cognitive processes that occur in play are continuing to develop. Whether these pretend abilities are being transferred to creative production is a key question for future investigation.

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... At the same time, they are processes that have an intrinsic value (FNAE, 2018, p. 58). A positive relationship has been proven between play and children's creativity (Holmes, Romeo, Ciraola, & Grushko, 2015;Russ, 2016;Russ & Dillon, 2011). Childreńs play promotes the affective and cognitive processes, which are critical in their creativity (Saracho, 2012, p. 18). ...
... Creative abilities are possible to transfer from one domain to another (see Amabile, 1996). For example, in play, children are developing their creative abilities and divergent thinking, which they can utilize in any creative process (Russ, 2016;Russ & Dillon, 2011). The ability to think divergently in childhood also predicts creativity in adulthood (Russ & Wallace, 2013). ...
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The study presented in this article is part of a larger study called Progressive Feedback (blogs.helsinki.fi/orientate), which is an early childhood education and care (ECEC) research and development project. The aim of this article is to find out (a) how children's tested creative thinking abilities, fluency, originality and imagination correlated with childreńs social orientations in kindergarten and (b) how children's participative orientations occur in relation with the teacher and peers. The data consist of Reunamo’s child interview tool and the Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM) test. The data (280 children from 23 kindergartens and pre-primary schools) were gathered from two municipalities in southern Finland. The results show that the participative orientation was strongly connected with creative thinking abilities, but it was rare in social situations concerning adults. In participative orientation, children concern the situation and intend to change it.
... Although prior research has associated negative consequences for children's learning and development associated with the decrease in unstructured play opportunities (Kim, 2011), a more recent study provides evidence of children's resiliency. Comparing children's pretend play over two decades , Russ and Dillon (2011) found no evidence of deterioration in contemporary children's pretend play capabilities (i.e. the organization of their play stories and the amount and range of their affect expression during pretend play). Instead, they report that children's imagination and comfort engaging in the play tasks had increased in recent play samples. ...
... These results contrast with Kim (2011) who reported a significant decline in American children's creativity scores (as measured by the Torrance Tests of Creativity; Torrance & Ball, 1984) since 1990, findings that were especially pronounced for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Russ and Dillon (2011) conclude that their findings may highlight the resiliency of children in our current sociopolitical context as 'even though children have less time to play, cognitive processes that occur in play continue to develop' (p. 330). ...
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For over a decade, researchers, practitioners and play advocates have documented a decline in children’s opportunities to engage in unstructured and outdoor play, a discussion that has been represented through the discourse and perspectives of adults. Given the increasing recognition that children’s voices deserve a more intentional and prominent inclusion in activities and decisions designed to influence them, the current study was designed to interview 98 children (ages 3-17) about their perspectives on children’s and adults’ play to examine how children’s ideas could expand the dialogue on the changing sociocultural contexts of play. Children’s emic conceptualizations of the characteristics defining play were consistent with previous research. Children’s ideas of fun play and plans for spending a whole day playing emphasized relationships, outdoor play and interacting with toys, but rarely digital play. The majority of children believed that adults play—with their children, sports, games and digitally—although most children reported that adults don’t play enough, a phenomenon they critiqued. The findings are discussed in relationship to literature describing children’s perspectives on play and children’s rights. The study reveals novel information concerning children’s perspectives on play and suggests the importance of including children’s narratives in research and advocacy describing the changing landscape of contemporary children’s play.
... Although prior research has associated negative consequences for children's learning and development associated with the decrease in unstructured play opportunities (Kim, 2011), a more recent study provides evidence of children's resiliency. Comparing children's pretend play over two decades , Russ and Dillon (2011) found no evidence of deterioration in contemporary children's pretend play capabilities (i.e. the organization of their play stories and the amount and range of their affect expression during pretend play). Instead, they report that children's imagination and comfort engaging in the play tasks had increased in recent play samples. ...
... These results contrast with Kim (2011) who reported a significant decline in American children's creativity scores (as measured by the Torrance Tests of Creativity; Torrance & Ball, 1984) since 1990, findings that were especially pronounced for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Russ and Dillon (2011) conclude that their findings may highlight the resiliency of children in our current sociopolitical context as 'even though children have less time to play, cognitive processes that occur in play continue to develop' (p. 330). ...
Article
Full-text available
For over a decade, researchers, practitioners, and play advocates have documented a decline in children's opportunities to engage in unstructured and outdoor play, a discussion that has been represented through the discourse and perspectives of adults. Given the increasing recognition that children's voices, their perspectives, deserve a more intentional and prominent inclusion in activities and decisions designed to influence them, the current study was designed to interview 98 children (ages 3–17) about their perspectives on children's and adults' play to examine how children's ideas could expand the dialogue on the changing sociocultural contexts of play. Children's emic conceptualizations of the characteristics defining play were consistent with previous research. Children's ideas of fun play and plans for spending a whole day playing emphasized relationships, outdoor play, and interacting with toys, but rarely digital play. The majority of children believed that adults play – with their children, sports, games, and digitally – although most children reported that adults do not play enough, a phenomenon they critiqued. The findings are discussed in relationship to literature describing children's perspectives on play and children's rights. The study reveals novel information concerning children's perspectives on play and suggests the importance of including children's narratives in research and advocacy describing the changing landscape of contemporary children's play.
... • Affect in Play Scale (Butcher & Niec, 2005;Chessa et al., 2012;Chessa, Riso, Delvecchio, Salcuni, & Lis, 2011;Christian, Russ, & Short, 2011;Christiano & Russ, 1996Cordiano, Russ, & Short, 2008;Delvecchio, di Riso, Li, Lis, & Mazzeschi, 2016;Federici, Meloni, Catarinella, & Mazzeschi, 2017;Fehr & Russ, 2013Fiorelli & Russ, 2012;Goldstein & Russ, 2000;Hoffmann & Russ, 2012Kaugars & Russ, 2009;Moore & Russ, 2008;Niec & Russ, 1996Russ & Dillon, 2011;Russ & Grossman-McKee, 1990;Russ & Kaugars, 2001;Russ, Robins, & Christiano, 1999;Scott, Short, Singer, Russ, & Minnes, 2006;Seja & Russ, 1999;Wallace & Russ, 2015; Observations in laboratory, set-up playroom, or non-natural environment and/or with a specific set of toys • Valence of affect (e.g., neutral, positive, or negative) (Connolly et al., 1988;de Lorimier et al., 1995;Doyle et al., 1992;Dunn & Hughes, 2001) • The Preschool Theatre Arts Rubric (Susman-Stillman et al., 2018) Naturalistic observation • Valence of affect (e.g., neutral, positive, or negative) (Farver & Shin, 1997;Farver et al., 1995;Rubin & Daniels-Beirness, 1983;Rubin, 1982) Language ...
... More or less affect, as well as positively or negatively valenced affect, could occur with object substitution as with role play, but is not indicative of the child's level of pretend play skill, and is not sufficient for a behavior to be considered pretend. The presence or amount of affect may be related to other child outcomes, such as creativity (Russ & Dillon, 2011). However, even within studies examining affect in play, there are other codes, separate from those for affect, typically used to describe the imaginative elements of play (e.g., transformations, use of characters) a child utilizes. ...
Article
Pretend play is a central component of child development, but causal inferences about its effects are difficult to make due to inconsistencies in definitions and measurement. A thorough analysis of how pretense is measured, coherences and disagreements in measurement strategies, and the behaviors involved in pretend play is needed. We review 199 empirical articles where pretend play was measured and propose a new hierarchical developmental progression of pretend play, rooted in developmental theory and 50 years of research. We suggest pretend play behaviors are likely to develop additively from least to most psychologically complex in the following order: object substitutions, attribution of pretend properties, social interactions within pretend, role enactment, and pretense-related metacommunication. Researchers must use methods in future studies to better capture this developmental progression. This will strengthen construct validity and improve understanding of the mechanisms within pretend play possibly responsible for positive child outcomes.
... Children are currently experiencing an unprecedented decline in opportunities for play-outdoor free play in particular-and this is creating concern for child development experts and play advocates Frost & Jacobs, 1995;Gray, 2011;Miller & Almon, 2009;Patte, 2010;Russ & Dillon, 2011;Singer, Singer, D'Agostino, & DeLong, 2009). Recent generations of children have become more scheduled, stressed, and involved in adult-directed activities . ...
... While developmental scholars have speculated on a connection between diminished time for play and negative outcomes for children including higher rates of psychopathology (Gray, 2011) and a decrease in divergent thinking (Russ & Dillon, 2011), it is important to question whether time is the essential variable. The drive for play is strong, as evidenced by the increased intensity that humans and animals exhibit when they play after a period of restriction-almost as if making up for lost time (L. A. Barnett, 1984;Pellis & Pellis, 2007). ...
Article
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Child-directed play is essential for the healthy development of children. However, many children are experiencing a reduction in access and opportunities for play, and the consequences are being referred to as play deprivation. The numerous benefits of play significantly overlap with the American School Counseling Association’s comprehensive school counseling domains of academic, personal social, and career development. School counselors have a unique role as child development experts to make a positive impact on the play lives of children.
... A large body of research related pretend play to a diverse set of measures of creativity (Fisher 1992;Russ and Schafer 2006;Singer and Singer 1990), the growing capacity to self-regulate (Berk et al. 2006), coping ability (Christiano and Russ 1996;Goldstein andRuss 2000-2001), problem solving and adjustment (Russ 2004(Russ , 2006Singer and Singer 1990), perspective taking and emotional understanding (Fehr and Russ 2014;Fisher 1992;Seja and Russ 1999). Moreover, the ability to pretend and make believe represents the integration of cognitive, affective and interpersonal competencies for preschool children (Christian et al. 2011;Russ 2004Russ , 2006Russ and Dillon 2011). Recent reviews pointed out that these different domains should be taken into account to assess preschoolers' development through play. ...
... Affect in Play Scale-Preschool Version The APS-P (Kaugars and Russ 2009;Russ 2004) is a semi-structured individually administered 5-min play task, assessing affective and cognitive dimensions using an empirically validated administration procedure and scoring attribution that emphasize the quality of fantasy and affect (Russ 2004, p. 19). The scale is an adaptation of the Affect in Play Scale (APS; Russ 1993Russ , 2004) that has been used and validated for children ages 6-10 years both in the US and Italian contexts (Chessa et al. 2011;Chessa et al. 2012;Russ and Dillon 2011). Standardized instructions and prompts are included. ...
Article
Despite the emerging literature supporting the central role of pretend play for children’s cognitive, affective and social development, there is a paucity of standardized and validated measures devoted to assess it, especially for preschoolers. In addition, most of the existing tools failed in their attempt to assess the interplay among the different developmental domains which are involved in playing activities. The Affect in Play Scale-Preschool version is a semi-structured measure to assess cognitive and affective pretend play processes in children aged 4–5 using a 5-min standardized play task. This study was aimed to evaluate the construct and external validity of the scale in a sample of Italian preschoolers. A multi-group factor analysis confirmed the adequacy of the two-factor model with cognitive and affective factor for both 4- and 5-year-old children. No differences were found between boys and girls whereas older children reported higher play abilities. Correlations between pretend play, divergent thinking, teacher’s measures of temperament and prosocial behavior were carried out. Results supported the use of APS-P as a valid tool for assessing the interplay of cognitive and affective abilities in Italian children.
... In recent decades, Western cultures' emphasis on academic drilling and high-stakes testing has left less time for child-directed activities and cooperative play opportunities (Elkind, 2007). Despite less time for play in schools, a recent meta-analysis reveal that children's play skills appear not to have suffered (Russ & Dillon, 2011); however, the authors emphatically argue that this does not mean that playtime is superfluous. Rather, the authors suggest several possibilities for their findings: (a) that children have a hunger to play and thus are finding time to practice play and fantasy in new ways such as through videogames; or (b) that children's play skills are remaining stable, but children are not able to transfer these skills to other areas, such as creative thinking, which has been decreasing, as documented by Kim (2011). ...
... A second alternative is that although children are experiencing improvements in their pretend play skills, they are not translating these skills to other areas, such as divergent thinking. This theory has been proposed by Russ and Dillon (2011) to interpret recent findings that pretend play skills have been increasing over the last two decades, whereas other research has shown a significant decrease in creativity (Kim, 2011). Although pretend play and divergent thinking are significantly correlated, improvement in pretend play may not necessarily facilitate improvement in divergent thinking. ...
Article
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Pretend play is an important part of child development, associated with constructions of adaptive functioning such as creative thinking and positive affect. Research has demonstrated that interventions to improve play skills can be effective. In the current study, a 6-session, pretend play intervention was administered to 40 participants, ages 5 to 8 years old, enrolled in an elementary school for girls. The study adapted a manualized individual play intervention to be administered to groups. At baseline and outcome, pretend play skills were assessed using the Affect in Play Scale (Russ, 2004, 2014b), a 5-min pretend play task measuring the cognitive and affective processes of fantasy play. Creativity was assessed using the Alternate Uses Test (Wallach & Kogan, 1965), a measure of divergent thinking, and a storytelling task. State positive affect was measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children (Moore & Russ, 2008). Repeated-measures ANOVA analyses indicated significant improvement in play skills for the intervention group compared with controls. For the below-average players, improvements in divergent thinking were also observed at outcome compared with controls. Baseline correlations among pretend play, creativity, and positive affect are also presented, replicating past studies. Taken together, the findings suggest the benefits of pretend play in child development and demonstrate the feasibility of school-based interventions for improving play and creativity skills.
... However, researchers have classified play into physical play, play with objects, symbolic play, pretence/sociodramatic play and games with rules (Whitebread 2012). Among these play types, pretend play is a type of playful behaviour that engages in nonliteral actions (Russ & Dillon 2011) which is seen during early childhood. During pretend play, children imagine one object to be another object or person with the complete knowledge of reality. ...
Article
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Background: Pretend play is a form of play that involves nonliteral actions. There are limited studies reporting the developmental trends of pretend play behaviours of typically developing pre-schoolers. This knowledge would be beneficial in the early identification of deviations in pre-schoolers who have or are at risk of developing developmental disabilities. Aim: The present study aimed to describe the developmental trends in pretend play skills across different age groups of pre-schoolers. The study also aimed to understand the differential patterns in pretend play observed across the Free Play and Structured Toy Play scenarios. Setting: This study was conducted on pre-schoolers in a classroom of the school. Method: The study followed a cross-sectional study design. Forty-eight participants were recruited for the study and were divided into four groups. A video recording of the child’s pretend play skills was recorded using a Sony-HDRCX405 camcorder in Free Play and Structured Toy Play scenarios. The recorded video was coded and analysed for the occurrence of pretend play skills using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES) coding scheme. Results: The study results depict a developmental trend in the occurrences of pretend play skills in pre-schoolers. It also emphasises the importance of amalgamation of Structured Toy Play and Free Play scenarios for the child’s holistic development because of the unique benefits of each scenario. Conclusion: The study findings could help in the formulation of Individualised Education Programme objectives for typically developing children and children with developmental disabilities involving play, thus enabling these children experience normalised, contextually pertinent experiences like their peers.
... A focal point of recent research on diversionary play is whether and how the high-paced rhythms of contemporary social contexts constrain play. Russ and Dillon (2011) investigated changes in pretend play in children during a 23-year period. Analyzing 14 studies of children ages 6 to 10 years, from 1985 to 2008, they found that, over time, imagination and comfort with play increased, negative affect expression in play decreased, and there was no change in the organization of the story and the amount and range of affect expression in play. ...
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and Keywords Over the last 3 decades, work culture has profoundly reconceptualized play as a creativity stimulant and as a core element of workplace social life. During the early wave of this transition in the 1980s, some organizations merely tolerated employees' spontaneous playful behaviors, but more recently, a growing number of organizations have deliberately institutionalized specific forms of play as integral to their culture to enhance work practices and creativity. Organizational research has closely followed these developments with an increasing number of studies focusing on workplace play and two closely related concepts, flow and timelessness. This chapter reviews the latest empirical and conceptual advancements in research about play, flow, and timelessness in organizational settings and how they relate to creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
... This leads to concerns that children's ability to engage in pretend play may also be decreasing with lack of opportunity. Russ and Dillon (2011), however, showed that children's pretend play abilities are not, in fact, decreasing, as measured by the Affect in Play Scale (APS). However, their study did not address the extent to which children are applying these creative abilities in other situations. ...
Article
Prior research has found common trends among children's video game play as related to gender, age, interests, creativity, and other descriptors. This study re-examined the previously reported trends by utilizing principal components analysis with variables such as creativity, general characteristics, and problem-solving methods to determine factors that predict greater time spent playing video games among children. Fourth- and fifth-grade students (N = 118) reported their video game play habits and took a creativity assessment. Principal components analysis revealed factors that predict a child will play video games for greater amounts of time. While previous results showed that video game play does not lower children's creativity, results of this analysis build on these results to show that the most creative children do not tend to play video games as often; other characteristics associated with greater video game play include familiarity with gaming, greater practical but less creative problem-solving strategies, and being less likely to be learning academic content. Implications of these findings are discussed.
... Dette er også interessant i forhold til en nylig undersøgelse af Russ og Dillon, hvori en lang raekke " Affect in Play " -tests af amerikanske skolebørn i alderen 6-10 fra perioden 1985-2008 sammenlignes. Her viser det sig, at der er en generel stigning i børnenes opfindsomhed (Russ & Dillon, 2011, p. 330ff), hvorfor man i betragtning af de netop gennemgåede forskningsresultater, kunne opstille en hypotese om, at så ville den divergente taenkning også vaere steget. Som sagt bør man ikke overføre disse resultater direkte til en dansk kontekst, men det peger på, at børns leg, daginstitutioner og udviklingen af kreativitet er et område, som fortjener mere forskning. ...
... In a worrisome trend, many signs indicate that today's make-believe play does not simply differ in content from play of the past but that it has declined in both quality and quantity (Johnson et al. 2005;Karpov 2005;Russ and Dillon 2011). We find this qualitative and quantitative decline of play even more troubling when viewed in light of declining self-regulation in young children that puts them at risk of later cognitive and social-emotional problems (Blair 2002;Blair and Razza 2007;Raver and Knitzer 2002;Rimm-Kaurfman, Pianta, and Cox 2000). ...
Article
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The authors consider the analysis of the literature on play research by Lillard and others in the January 2013 Psychological Bulletin, an analysis that questioned the prevailing assumption of a causal relationship between play and child development, especially in the areas of creativity, reasoning, executive function, and regulation of emotions. The authors regard these connections as critical for teachers in early-childhood classrooms and for other advocates of child play. They claim that the conclusions of Lillard and her coauthors place these professionals in a difficult position because they already face sharp pressure to replace play with academic activities. The authors suggest that the difficulty researchers have in linking play to development partly results from a failure to account for both cognitive and non cognitive developments across a complex trajectory. To help see the problem more clearly, they argue for a return to the Vygotskian and post-Vygotskian theories that differentiate between immature and mature play. The authors then describe their creation, an observational tool based on such theories, that helps researchers and practitioners judge the quality of pretend play. Key words: Lev Vygotsky; mature play; Mature Play Observation Tool; play and child development; self-regulation
... However, some researchers (Kim 2011;Russ and Dillon 2011) who study creativity worry that it is on the decline among students. Even though creativity is innate, it needs to be cultivated and nurtured. ...
Article
The twenty-first century is often described as an age of uncertainty and ambiguity with unprecedented challenges. Those with a creative mind-set however might call this millennium an age of wonder. New technologies and digital media are facilitating imagination and inventiveness. How are we innovating education? Are schools and classroom fostering creativity? This chapter will discuss the understanding of the cognitive functions of creativity and relate these to curriculum and pedagogy. It will deal with issues such as tapping on the powers of psychological habits and novelty, contextualizing learning, providing for serendipity, imagination, and play.
... Barbot & Said-Metwaly, 2020), Sandy used an accumulation of play data sets to question Kim's conclusions. With 13 separate samples of typically developing school children's play scores spanning a 23-year period from 1985 to 2008, Sandy noted that while Kim claimed a decline in creative thinking among children, a cross-temporal meta-analysis of play scores showed no such decline, and in fact imagination and comfort in pretend play had both increased over time (Russ & Dillon, 2011). ...
... Play-oriented programs have been crowded out or dismissed as obsolete, in favor of teacher-directed instruction aimed at transmission of specific academic skills, especially for working-class and low-income children (Nicolopoulou, McDowell, & Brockmeyer, 2006). In an educational climate of declining quantity and quality of early childhood play (Johnson, Christie, & Wardle, 2005;Karpov, 2005;Russ & Dillon, 2011), the longstanding expert consensus on play's wide-ranging benefits has been questioned (Lillard et al., 2013). A growing emphasis on evaluation, outcomes, and accountability in education has propagated a more business-like, results-oriented approach to preschool pedagogy that deemphasizes the role of play and discovery (Lasser & Fite, 2011). ...
Article
Vygotskian theory and empirical evidence suggest that children’s private speech and pretend play contribute to their development of motivational processes. Given current U.S. preschool expansion, and resurgent debates over the merits of play-based vs. non-play-based approaches to early childhood education, this study conducted an experimental investigation of the relative impact of these contexts on preschoolers’ private speech and mastery motivation (performance and persistence). 38 preschool children engaged in a challenging fishing activity in two experimental conditions (playful and non-playful) simulating pedagogical and motivational (intrinsic vs. extrinsic) characteristics of common preschool settings. Private speech was categorized as cognitive, motivational, metacognitive, playful or partially internalized, and the emotional valence of private speech was marked as positive or negative. Results indicated that preschoolers in the playful condition displayed higher mastery motivation than preschoolers in the non-playful condition. Children in the playful condition used more frequent private speech, including more frequent cognitive, playful, and positively valenced private speech. Mastery motivation was positively correlated with playful, partially internalized, and positively valenced private speech, but negatively related to motivational private speech. Mastery motivation components (performance and persistence) related to different types of private speech. Performance related positively to metacognitive private speech and negatively to motivational private speech. Persistence related positively to playful private speech. The playful condition elicited private speech categories that were associated with higher motivation levels. Findings support the use of playful and play-based pedagogy in early childhood education, and teacher modeling of motivationally beneficial forms of private speech.
... A review by Russ and Dillon (2011) found no decrease in children's imagination or creativity in the period 1985-2008. They found that imagination in play significantly increased over time. ...
Chapter
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This chapter considers the role of entertainment media in education, health, and quality of life. Because of its potential to affect our well-being, entertainment can be seen as a public health issue. When freely chosen, entertainment can produce desired states such as relaxation or arousal and can induce the range of human emotions that enrich daily life. The emotional and social satisfactions provided by entertainment are supplemented by their impact on executive functioning and health. Entertainment serves the range of “uses and gratifications” familiar to media students (cognitive, social, emotional/physiological). Among the cognitive benefits of entertainment media are the maintenance or improvement of problem solving and enhanced perceptual skills. Listening to music or watching television can produce positive cognitive effects. Music, in addition to its mood management function, also affects brain development, language, and cognitive development. One undeniable feature of play is fun. Positive emotions, including humor, contribute to a sense of well-being and health. Video gaming can be beneficial for brain development and functioning. The positive effects of video gaming may also prove relevant in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders, particularly depression. Studies of the noninstitutionalized elderly suggest that digital games can speed reaction time and may positively influence executive function and have social and emotional benefits. Exergames are a substitute for physical exercise when outdoor play is not feasible. If entertainment is a public health issue, it is largely in the area of mental health that it has its greatest impact. Enjoying music, a film, a video game, or a You Tube video can improve mood, strengthen friendships, and increase competence. Digital entertainment media have been used in basic scientific research. Games can teach STEM subjects efficiently by reaching a large audience.
... Dla przykładu, w badaniu zabaw "na niby" z użyciem kwestionariusza autorstwa S.W. Russ (The Affect in Play Scale; 1993) dzieci dostają 2 neutralnie wyglądające pacynki oraz 3 klocki, którymi mogą bawić się w dowolny sposób. Diagnoza wyobraźni twórczej w jednej ze skal tego narzędzia (imagination rates the child's play) obejmuje nadawanie nowych znaczeń klockom oraz transformowanie tych wyobrażeń (Russ, Dillon 2011). Wydaje się, że przejście od rzeczywistych manipulacji np. ...
Article
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W artykule przedstawiony został przegląd badań diagnostycznych mierzących wyobraźnię wizualną i twórczą, wykorzystywanych przez psychologów. Szczególną uwagę poświęcono technikom pomiaru opracowanym w ramach współczesnych teorii procesu twórczego. Przeanalizowano teoretyczne założenia tych technik, procedury badania oraz czynniki wpływające na trafność i rzetelność pomiaru zdolności wyobrażeniowych. Wnioski płynące z tej analizy były podstawą określenia możliwości zastosowania eksperymentalnych technik pomiaru wyobraźni twórczej w badaniach pedagogicznych, zwłaszcza w diagnostyce potencjału twórczego dzieci.
... The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) set standards for developmentally appropriate practices for early educational programs in the U.S. One area that NAEYC emphasizes is the importance of peer interactive play (National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 2005). Through cooperative constructive play, children interact with each other in a manner that typically involves physical movements and emotional reactions, such as screaming, laughing, and role assignment (Brownell, 2011;Russ & Dillon, 2011). Children focus on manipulating objects (e.g., creating, building, or inventing) through intentional joint efforts toward a common goal (Houser et al., 2016). ...
Article
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School-based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs emerged in North America and have not traditionally focused on embodied learning processes that are situated in the learners’ contexts and lived experiences. Thus, we present evidence and advance the case that transferable social-emotional competencies are inherently culturally responsive or situated in learners’ authentic experiences and are inherently embodied. We also introduce a conceptual model grounded in bioecological and embodied theoretical frameworks to help guide future research and practice for culturally relevant SEL. Research findings: We used parts of the scoping review methodology to search and screen the published empirical literature on SEL and embodied learning. Findings highlight the increase in SEL research over the past 2 decades but with extremely limited work done outside of North America, particularly in Japan and South Africa. Consequently, we explored what culturally responsive, situated, and embodied SEL would look like across three different cultural contexts (i.e., in North America, Japan, and South Africa). Practice or Policy: While the principles, goals, and key skills of SEL might apply to most or even all cultures, an emic approach where culture-specific values, beliefs, or customs drive the development and implementation of SEL curriculum, and incorporates the meaningful inclusion of key community members is needed to be effective for specific groups of students. To implement and facilitate effective SEL programs within diverse and multicultural settings, policies and practices related to SEL curriculum need to consider the backgrounds and needs of the children, families, and communities that are being served.
... While 40% of preschoolers claim that pretense requires a brain (Lillard, 1996), simply imagining is often categorized as daydreaming or imagining, rather than as pretend play (Woolley, 1995). Additionally, affect, either positive or negative, typically occurs in conjunction with active, physical movements during play (Krasnor & Pepler, 1980;Russ & Dillon, 2011). Therefore, findings that children can learn through the presentation of information or instructions by adults in pretense and fictional contexts (Hopkins & Weisberg, 2017;Sutherland & Friedman, 2012) are important, but incomplete. ...
Article
Research suggests that children can learn new information via pretense. However, a fundamental problem with existing studies is that children are passive receivers of the pretense rather than active, engaged participants. This preregistered study replicates previous learning from pretense findings (Sutherland & Friedman, 2012, Child Development), in which children are passive observers of pretense, and extends to two additional conditions that require children to partially (with puppets) or fully (with costumes) embody a character. Children (N = 144, 24–79 months) learned equally well, and better than those in the control condition, from all three play scenarios. At a 2‐week follow‐up, learning was equally retained across embodiment conditions for older, but not younger, preschoolers. Future research should consider embodiment’s role for more complex material.
... Outdoor games also have a significant role in the development of psychological skills such as creativity, as well as the development of motor skills and the prevention of obesity, although there is less agreement among participants in this point. In this sense, many studies mention the potential of children's games in the development of creativity [37], imagination [29], and motor development [38], as well as in the prevention of problems related to childhood obesity [39] and the promotion of physical activity among children [40]. ...
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The objective of this work was to examine the perceptions of adults responsible for the care of children in their leisure time about the contribution of public playgrounds to motor, social, and creative development and obesity reduction in children, analyzing these perceptions according to sex, age, educational level, and level of involvement in the child's education of the participants. The sample consisted of 1019 adults responsible for the care of children in their leisure time in Albacete (Spain). A validated questionnaire was the instrument used to assess perceptions of participants on the influence of the public playgrounds in motor, social, and creative development and obesity reduction of children. The instrument was validated on a first sample of convenience and had good reliability (α = 0.997) and construct validity (CFI = 0.997). The results showed that most participants agreed with the positive contribution of public playgrounds to social skills (78.8%), motor skills (53.7%), creativity (52.2%), and obesity reduction (48.8%) in children. Women, those between 30 and 49 years, those with a higher educational level and those with a higher level of involvement in the child's education had more positive perceptions regarding the impact of public playgrounds to motor, social, and creative development and obesity reduction in children. These results should be taken in consideration to foster the use of public playgrounds in all sectors of population.
... Kumosińska, 2010), czy też tendencje przemian na przestrzeni lat (np. Russ, Dillon, 2011). Zmiany indywidualne w tym zakresie analizowane są w kontekście osobistych doświadczeń, np. ...
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For over two hundred years there has been a relatively strong and constant attention paid to imagination called ‘queen of abilities’ (Górniewicz, 1997, p. 43). Therefore, studies on imagery abilities have longer tradition than studies on divergence thinking (Betts, 1909; Galton, 1880) which gave rise to a greater interest in the subject of creativity (Guliford, 1950). Many works of theoretical, conceptual (ex. Ribot, 1900) and empirical character (ex. Limont, 1996) have been done on creativity understood as ability involved in the creative process. There are, however, few studies that have undertaken systematic analyses of the development of creative imagery abilities in childhood and its environmental determinants (Uszyńska-Jarmoc, 2003). Researchers specialized in creativity have shown their interest in the subject of development of creativity, mainly creative thinking, for almost half a century (Gralewski, Lebuda, Gajda, Jankowska, Wiśniewska, 2016; Kim, 2011; Smith, Carlsson, 1983, 1985, 1990; Torrance, 1968). Nonetheless, it seems desirable to analyze the relationship of imagination with other abilities, such as intelligence and creative thinking. This particular analysis would determine the psychological conditions of creative activity. The key questions in this context concern the trajectory of the development of creative imagination in childhood, family circumstances of that development, and potential correlations of the imagination. Understanding the dynamics of development of creative imagery abilities and other interdependent factors, with particular emphasis on the crises of development of imagination, gender and individual differences in this field, could serve not only basic research but also educational practice aimed at supporting the creative potential of children. Synergy of those advantages was the main impetus of the research described in this book. The reflections taken up in this work are aimed at showing the trajectory of the development of creative imagery abilities in pre-school and early school age in the context of the development of creativity (Karwowski, 2009b, 2010), as well as family and educational determinants of this process. Four main research questions were put forward in the project. The first one, crucial for the analyzed problem, was the accuracy of changes in creative imagination among preschool and early school children. The answer to this question has enabled us to examine the occurrence of the crisis in the development of creative imagination at the very beginning of school education. Moreover, it was the basis for describing changes in the development of creative imagination between ages 4 and 7. The second research question concerned diversity between the sexes in terms of creative imagination. The analyses carried out aimed at showing whether and what kind of differences in the level of creative imagination are observed in preschool and early school children. Third research question referred to the basic determinants of the development of creative imagination. More specifically, whether and what relationship (strength and direction) exists between the socialization space and socio-economic status of the family, and the level of creative imagination in children at this age. The last question referred to the importance of early educational experiences in the creative development of the imagination. The study covered 534 pupils from 5 kindergartens (groups of 4- and 5-year-olds) and 5 primary schools (year 0 and 1). The research project also included parents of the children taking part in the study. The first questionnaire about socio-economic status of the family was filled by 49% (N = 265). The second one, including habitus information, was provided only to parents of children learning at school and was filled by 59% of parents surveyed (N = 166). Children’s creative imagination was measured by the Test of Creative Imagery Abilities (Jankowska, Karwowski, 2015). It additionally included measurement of creativity (The Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production) and divergent thinking (Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural). Among the independent variables were: socialization space, socio-economic status of the family, early educational experience, age and gender of the child. The quantitative analyzes allowed us to formulate the following conclusions: 1. In preschool and early school stage creative imagination develops, although it has a non-linear character. The biggest upward trend occurs in the pre-school stage and before school education starts, in the field of imaginative fluency. At the beginning of school education, the pace and dynamics of creative imagery growth is not as great as in pre-school education. At the same time, among children in early school age, we observe greater variation in the level of creative imagination (imaginative fluency and originality of created images) than in pre-school children. 2. These creative imagery development trajectories coincide with the lines of the development of creativity, especially the originality of thinking. 3. The biggest differences between the sexes in childhood appear in terms of transformation of imageries. 4. Age factor turned out to be the most consistent and one of the strongest predictors in the results of the Test of Creative Imagery Abilities. In the case of image and originality, the SES was important, especially mother’s education. In tranformativeness, habitus constituted additional important factor. Formulated conclusions are a prerequisite for continuing further in-depth studies, such as longitudinal or sequential. This kind of research approach would enable more precise analysis of the dynamics of development of creative imagery abilities. Presented results might however be the starting point for reflections on the possibilities to support development of creative imagination in pre-school and early school children.
... Creativity does not exclusively arise in reputed artists or scientists (the so called "Big C creativity"), but can be found and studied in every individual and can occur in everyday activities (Sternberg & Lubart, 1999), which Kaufman and Beghetto (2009, p. 4) refer to as "little-c creativity". It is for example seen when children come up with a new method and recombine elements into new configurations (Russ & Dillon, 2011). ...
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Play is children's most important daily behavior and when children play, they do so in multiple ways. With two studies, this paper explores how children perceive a continuum of two play types, namely replicating play (in which models, guidelines, and examples are used to reach an intended result) and originating play (in which children create something from the mind, think freely about how they will play, are less restricted by given models, etc.). Study 1 (N = 56, Mage = 9) quantitatively shows that both play types occur and tests if children also describe the play types as we define them. Results show that children who play originating (vs. replicating) believe they follow less (vs. more) rules and do their own thing more (vs. less), which verifies the definitions of both types of play. Study 2 includes 16 in‐depth semi‐structured interviews (Mage = 10) and shows which determinants children identify as triggers for engaging in play that has more replicating or more originating elements.
... pretend play (Russ & Dillon, 2011;Torrance, 1962). In pretence, children's creativity is cultivated because pretend play involves make believe, the imagination, fantasy, innovative problem solving, and assigning literal meaning to the nonliteral (Singer & Singer, 1990). ...
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Imagine being 4 and not being able to ask for a toy or snack when you attend your early years program. Selective mutism (SM) is the persistent failure to speak in specific social situations where speaking is expected. It results from intense anxiety and occurs in spite of a child’s ability to speak in other situations, like the home environment. Children with SM can have lifelong issues with being able to engage with others, speak publicly, and succeed academically. In this article, the authors propose that play is a valuable and necessary medium to meet the needs of the child with SM, foster resiliency, and promote well-being. Additionally, play provides a much-needed context to lessen the anxieties associated with being seen or heard speaking. The educator’s role is specifically assessed as an asset to meet the needs of children with SM in the early years classroom.
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Theories of Early Childhood Education provides a comprehensive introduction to the various theoretical perspectives influential in early childhood education, from developmental psychology to critical studies, Piaget to Freire. Expert chapter authors examine assumptions underpinning the use of theory in the early years and concisely explore the implications of these questions for policy and practice. Every chapter includes applications to practice that will assist students and professionals in seeing the relevance of the theoretical perspective for their teaching.
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Creative and increasingly playful methods are now widespread in geographical research with children. These methods, encouraging imagination and fun, may illicit fantastical responses from children. However, ‘untruths’ in research contributions continue to be considered as reflective of failures in the research process. By ignoring untrue contributions we risk losing valuable data and silencing one form of children's voices. This paper calls for considered discourse on how imagination and fantasy might be included in analysis of research outcomes.
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Chapter
Creativity and imagination are defined and distinguished from one another. Various models are described and research supporting them is summarized. Divergent thinking, stage models, and the role of both controlled and undirected processes are tied to creativity and imagination. Extra- and meta-cognitive (e.g., tactical, strategic) contributions to creative and imaginative thinking are recognized and implications for businesses, organizations, and the understanding of development and the fulfillment of potential are each briefly explored.
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Fictional stories can affect many aspects of children’s behavior and cognition, yet little is known about how they might help or hinder children’s executive function skills. The current study investigated the role of story content (fantasy or reality) and mode of engagement with the story (pretense or a non-pretense control) on children’s inhibitory control, an important component of early executive function. A total of 60 3-year-olds were randomly assigned to hear a fantastical or realistic story and were encouraged to engage in either pretense or a non-pretense activity related to the story. They then completed the Less Is More task of inhibitory control. Story content had no impact on children’s inhibitory control; children performed equally well after hearing a fantastical or realistic story. However, children who engaged in story-related pretend play showed greater inhibitory control than those who engaged in a non-pretense activity. We found no interaction between story content and play engagement type. These results held when controlling for baseline inhibitory control, receptive vocabulary, age, gender, affect, and propensity toward pretense. Therefore, mode of play engagement with a story was more important in promoting children’s inhibitory control skills than the degree of realism in the story.
Chapter
This chapter considers the role of entertainment media in education, health, and quality of life. Because of its potential to affect our well-being, entertainment can be seen as a public health issue. When freely chosen, entertainment can produce desired states such as relaxation or arousal and can induce the range of human emotions that enrich daily life. The emotional and social satisfactions provided by entertainment are supplemented by their impact on executive functioning and health. Entertainment serves the range of “uses and gratifications” familiar to media students (cognitive, social, emotional/physiological). Among the cognitive benefits of entertainment media are the maintenance or improvement of problem solving and enhanced perceptual skills. Listening to music or watching television can produce positive cognitive effects. Music, in addition to its mood management function, also affects brain development, language, and cognitive development. One undeniable feature of play is fun. Positive emotions, including humor, contribute to a sense of well-being and health. Video gaming can be beneficial for brain development and functioning. The positive effects of video gaming may also prove relevant in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders, particularly depression. Studies of the noninstitutionalized elderly suggest that digital games can speed reaction time and may positively influence executive function and have social and emotional benefits. Exergames are a substitute for physical exercise when outdoor play is not feasible. If entertainment is a public health issue, it is largely in the area of mental health that it has its greatest impact. Enjoying music, a film, a video game, or a You Tube video can improve mood, strengthen friendships, and increase competence. Digital entertainment media have been used in basic scientific research. Games can teach STEM subjects efficiently by reaching a large audience.
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This book is an exploration of the power of apps to shape young people for better or for worse. No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply, some would say totally, involved with digital media. The authors, both developmental psychologists, name today's young people the "app generation", and in this book they explore what it means to be "app-dependent" versus "app-enabled" and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era. They are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, they conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations. -- Provided by publisher.
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Pretend play reflects cognitive, representational, and affective expression abilities in children. Cross-cultural studies stress the importance of culture-specific practices involved in shaping the context for play. Differences in the cultural environment and the parental care-giving system could influence children’s pretend play activities. There is a need for cross-cultural comparisons of play that use the same standardized measure of play. The current study was a cross-cultural comparison of two samples of American and Italian children 6 to 8 years old. All children were administered the Affect in Play Scale. As hypothesized, Italian children had significantly more types of affect expression in play than children in the United States, showing a medium effect size. Children in the United States had more imagination in their play, although with a small effect size. Implications of these findings are discussed.
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Two meta-analyses found that young Americans increasingly believe their lives are controlled by outside forces rather than their own efforts. Locus of control scores became substantially more external (about.80 standard deviations) in college student and child samples between 1960 and 2002. The average college student in 2002 had a more external locus of control than 80% of college students in the early 1960s. Birth cohort/time period explains 14% of the variance in locus of control scores. The data included 97 samples of college students (n = 18,310) and 41 samples of children ages 9 to 14 (n = 6,554) gathered from dissertation research. The results are consistent with an alienation model positing increases in cynicism, individualism, and the self-serving bias. The implications are almost uniformly negative, as externality is correlated with poor school achievement, helplessness, ineffective stress management, decreased self-control, and depression.
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A cross-temporal meta-analysis found that narcissism levels have risen over the generations in 85 samples of American college students who completed the 40-item forced-choice Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) between 1979 and 2006 (total n=16,475). Mean narcissism scores were significantly correlated with year of data collection when weighted by sample size (beta=.53, p<.001). Since 1982, NPI scores have increased 0.33 standard deviation. Thus, almost two-thirds of recent college students are above the mean 1979-1985 narcissism score, a 30% increase. The results complement previous studies finding increases in other individualistic traits such as assertiveness, agency, self-esteem, and extraversion.
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The authors investigated relationships among internal representations, empathy, and affective and cognitive processes in fantasy play to test the validity of the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale Q-Sort (SCORS-Q; D. Westen, 1995) with children. Eighty-six 8-10-year-olds were administered 8 Thematic Apperception Test cards, a standardized play task, and a self-report empathy measure. Teachers rated children's empathy and helpfulness. As predicted, internal representations were related to empathy, helpfulness, and quality of fantasy play. Developmental differences on the SCORS-Q were consistent with object relations theory and with results from the original SCORS. The findings support the value of internal representations as a means of understanding children's interpersonal functioning and contribute to the validity of the SCORS-Q for use with children.
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The present study examined the relationship between the ability to engage in fantasy activity and the ability to understand a fantasy message in literature. The study also examined the relationships among pretend play, fantasy, and coping abilities. Participants were 55 first-grade children. After being assessed for pretend play and fantasy abilities, the children heard a reading of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Following the story, the children engaged in three tasks that assessed understanding of the story. The children's ability to cope with a situation similar to the one in the story was also assessed. While the majority of children enjoyed listening to the story, no relationship was found between pretend play/fantasy ability and the ability to understand the fantasy message in the story. As predicted, pretend play/fantasy ability was significantly positively related to coping ability. Children's understanding of the story was not related to the ability to cope with a situation similar to the one in the story. The roles of cognitive development and reading readiness need to be considered in understanding the results, as it appears that children this age are focused on the mechanics of learning to read. The finding that pretend play and fantasy ability were related to coping suggests that fantasy ability is a resource for children that might facilitate flexible thinking and problem solving.
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Pretend play sets the stage for the creative writer. So many processes that are important in creative writing occur in the play of childhood and are developed in the arena of pretend play. Pretend play involves imagination, fantasy, storytelling, emotional expression, becoming absorbed in the moment, being spontaneous, taking risks, understanding the perspectives of others, and experiencing the joy of creation. Individuals who are able to engage in pretend play as children should be able to access these processes as adults during the writing process. This chapter reviews processes in pretend play that are important in creativity, with a specific focus on emotional processes and creative writing. Although pretend play in children is a long way from creative writing in adults, nevertheless basic elements of the creative process occur in play. We can study these processes and learn about how play can help foster these elements. As in many areas of creativity, both case studies of creative writers (Wallace, 1989) and research studies offer valuable information. This chapter includes theory, research, and case examples that illustrate creative processes in creative authors. PRETEND PLAY AND CREATIVITY: One of the best definitions of pretend play is by Fein (1987). She conceptualized pretend play as “a symbolic behavior in which one thing is playfully treated as if it were something else” (Fein, 1987, p. 282). A block becomes a telephone, for example. Pretend play involves the use of fantasy, symbolism, and make-believe. © Cambridge University Press 2009 and Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Chapter
The early childhood years are a crucial time for the development of self-regulation - an array of complex mental capacities that includes impulse and emotion control, selfguidance of thought and behavior, planning, self-reliance, and socially responsible behavior. Self-regulation is also essential for children to meet the academic and social requirements of school. The human need for complex, flexible regulatory systems that can cope with a wide array of environmental conditions means that the development of self- regulation begins early, takes place over an extended time period, and requires substantial external support. Early childhood is also the "high season" of imaginative play, when make-believe evolves from simple imitative acts into elaborate plots involving complex coordination of roles. This chapter presents wide-ranging evidence that pretenseis pivotal in children's advancing mastery over their own thinking, emotions, and behavior. The data are based on the sociocultural theory of Russian developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky, who viewed social experiences such as make-believe play as prime catalysts of development.
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Naturalistic observation of 96 preschoolers permitted categorizing them as either players (displayed make-believe) or nonplayers. All subjects were then exposed to 1 of 3 treatment conditions (free play, imitation, problem solving) and subsequently given an alternate-uses test. Free play enhanced associative fluency, but only for players who actually engaged in make-believe. These findings were interpreted as consistent with the hypothesis that associative fluency is not automatically enhanced by the lack of structure in free-play situations, but that it can be enhanced by the freely assimilative character of make-believe.
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Theoretically, pretend play facilitates cognitive and affective processes important in creativity. Expression of affect states and affect-laden fantasy are affective processes common to both play and creativity. This study investigated the effect of instructing children to engage in happy or angry play on affect in play and on divergent thinking. Eighty 1st- and 2nd-grade children were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. It was hypothesized that children in the happy and angry puppet play groups would have more affect in their play and that their mood would be congruent with the play instruction. It was also hypothesized that children in the happy and angry groups would have higher divergent thinking scores than children in the free-play and puzzle conditions. One major finding was that children in the angry play group had more expression of negative affect in their play and more self-reported negative mood than children in the other groups. There were no differences among the experimental groups in divergent thinking. However, self-reported mood during the play and puzzle tasks was significantly associated with originality of the divergent thinking responses. Children who experienced more affect as opposed to feeling neutral gave more original responses. The major conclusion of the study is that the play paradigm can be used to study affective processes in children.
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Pretend play and creativity have been linked theoretically and empirically. In this article we investigate the ability of pretend play in first and second-grade children to predict divergent thinking and affect in fantasy over a 4-year period. The follow-up sample consisted of 31 children in the fifth and sixth grades who had originally received the Affect in Play Scale (Russ, 1987, 1993; a standardized play task) and the Alternate Uses test (Wallach & Kogan, 1965) of divergent thinking as first and second graders. Four years later, they received an Affect in Fantasy Task (developed for this study) similar to the original play task, and the Alternate Uses test. As predicted, quality of fantasy and imagination in early play predicted divergent thinking over time, independent of IQ. In addition, cognitive and affective processes in early pretend play were significantly related to comparable processes on the later fantasy task. Early divergent-thinking scores were predictive of later divergent-thinking scores. Exploratory analyses did not find any relation between play and several other measures of creativity, or between divergent thinking and other creativity measures. The results lend support to the concept that affective and cognitive processes in pretend play are stable over time and are predictive of divergent thinking.
Article
Theory and research support the involvement of emotion in the creative process. Access to emotion in cognition and memories should broaden the associative process, which is important in divergent thinking and creativity. This study tested the hypothesis that affect in fantasy play in children would be related to divergent thinking and to emotion in memories. Emotion in memories was also expected to relate to divergent thinking. Forty-six first- and second-grade children received a 5-min puppet play task (Affect in Play Scale), an alternate uses task, and an emotional memories questionnaire. Major findings were that affect in play was significantly and positively related to the number of uses generated and originality of the use. In particular, negative affect in play was significantly related to all criteria. In addition, affect in play was significantly related to amount of affect in memory descriptions. Expression of affect appears to be cross-situational. Although amount of affect in memories also related to divergent thinking, it did not function as a mediator between negative affect and divergent thinking. Implications for the importance of affect and negative affect in children's play and emotion in memories are discussed.
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Conducted a meta-analysis of 46 studies focused on the effects of play behavior in cognitive, linguistic, and affective-social development. Half of the studies surveyed some aspect of cognitive development (i.e., creativity, logical problem solving). The remaining studies were equally divided between studies examining (1) the effects of play on language mastery or reading readiness and (2) the power of play to enhance awareness of social roles or build empathetic interpersonal skills via make-believe and perspective taking. Results suggest that sociodramatic play results in improved performances in both cognitive-linguistic and social affective domains. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Research generally supports the contention that play and exploration can have significant impact on problem-solving and creativity.
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This meta-analysis synthesized 102 effect sizes reflecting the relation between specific moods and creativity. Effect sizes overall revealed that positive moods produce more creativity than mood-neutral controls (r= .15), but no significant differences between negative moods and mood-neutral controls (r= -.03) or between positive and negative moods (r= .04) were observed. Creativity is enhanced most by positive mood states that are activating and associated with an approach motivation and promotion focus (e.g., happiness), rather than those that are deactivating and associated with an avoidance motivation and prevention focus (e.g., relaxed). Negative, deactivating moods with an approach motivation and a promotion focus (e.g., sadness) were not associated with creativity, but negative, activating moods with an avoidance motivation and a prevention focus (fear, anxiety) were associated with lower creativity, especially when assessed as cognitive flexibility. With a few exceptions, these results generalized across experimental and correlational designs, populations (students vs. general adult population), and facet of creativity (e.g., fluency, flexibility, originality, eureka/insight). The authors discuss theoretical implications and highlight avenues for future research on specific moods, creativity, and their relationships.
Article
The relationships among expression of primary process thinking on the Rorschach, affective expression in fantasy play, and divergent thinking were investigated in first and second grade children. Sixty children received the rorschach (Holt's scoring system), a play task (Affect in Play Scale), and the Alternate Uses Test. Major hypotheses were supported because the amount of primary process thinking on the Rorschach (frequency and percent) was significantly, positively related to amount of affective expression and primary process expression in play. Also, expression of affect in play (frequency, variety, integration, and comfort) was significantly, positively related to divergent thinking, independent of IQ for both boys and girls. On the Rorschach, percent of primary process was significantly related to divergent thinking for boys. The results suggest that the ability to think imaginatively in a free-association style and the ability to have access to affect-laden material are related processes.
Article
Examined the relation between affective and cognitive processes in fantasy play and emotional understanding. Sixty-six children in the 1st and 2nd grades played with puppets (Affect in Play Scale; Russ, 1993), answered questions about their understanding of emotions (Kusche Affective Interview-Revised; Kusche, Greenberg, & Beilke, 1988), and completed a measure of verbal intelligence (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III; Wechsler, 1991). The major finding of this study was that consistent, yet modest, relations were found between dimensions of fantasy play and emotional understanding. Cognitive dimensions of fantasy play, but not affect expression, were related to facets of emotional understanding. These relations were independent of verbal ability. A composite fantasy play score accounted for a significant amount of variance in a composite emotional understanding score when verbal ability was accounted for. Variations in the pattern of correlations for girls and boys suggest sex differences in the relation between fantasy play and emotional understanding. Implications for clinical research and interventions are discussed.
Article
The authors investigated relationships among internal representations, empathy, and affective and cognitive processes in fantasy play to test the validity of the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale Q-Sort (SCORS-Q; D. Westen, 1995) with children. Eighty-six 8-10-year-olds were administered 8 Thematic Apperception Test cards, a standardized play task, and a self-report empathy measure. Teachers rated children's empathy and helpfulness. As predicted, internal representations were related to empathy, helpfulness, and quality of fantasy play. Developmental differences on the SCORS-Q were consistent with object relations theory and with results from the original SCORS. The findings support the value of internal representations as a means of understanding children's interpersonal functioning and contribute to the validity of the SCORS-Q for use with children.
Article
Relationships among children's affective expression in fantasy play, interpersonal themes in projective stories, and concurrent interpersonal behaviors were investigated in 49 children. Participants completed a play task, a projective storytelling task, and a brief IQ measure. Peer and teacher ratings provided measures of interpersonal functioning. Results found that access to and comfort with affect is related to the ability to think in interpersonal ways. Neither affective expression in play nor interpersonal themes in projective stories were related to actual interpersonal behavior.
Article
Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children. Despite the benefits derived from play for both children and parents, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children. This report addresses a variety of factors that have reduced play, including a hurried lifestyle, changes in family structure, and increased attention to academics and enrichment activities at the expense of recess or free child-centered play. This report offers guidelines on how pediatricians can advocate for children by helping families, school systems, and communities consider how best to ensure that play is protected as they seek the balance in children's lives to create the optimal developmental milieu.
Article
The Affect in Play Scale (APS; Russ, 1987, 2004) is one of few reliable, standardized measures of pretend play, yet the fact that it requires videotaping and extensive training to score compromises its clinical utility. In this study, we developed and validated a brief rating version (APS-BR) that does not require videotaping. Construct validity was established by comparing scores from the original APS and the APS-BR using an existing data set of videotaped play (n = 46). We examined associations between scores on the APS-BR and theoretically relevant measures of divergent thinking and emotional memories. Scores on the APS-BR related strongly to those on the APS, and the pattern of correlations for each scale and relevant criterion measures was similar in strength and direction, supporting the APS-BR as an alternate form of the APS. In addition, we completed a pilot study to examine the efficacy of using the APS-BR in its intended in vivo format (n = 28). Results from both studies suggest that the APS-BR is a promising brief measure of children's pretend play that can be substituted for the APS in clinical and research settings.
Creativity crisis in children. Paper presented at meeting of
  • K H Kim
[Pretend play, prosocial moral reasoning, and prosocial behavior]
  • L Niec
  • S Spannagel
  • Russ S. W.