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Partners in Pretend Play: Associations with Family and Peer Experience in Early Development

Zerwas, Stephanie C. (2004) Partners in Pretend Play: Associations with Family and Peer Experience in Early Development. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study investigated associations between family and peer experience and individual differences in children's social and solitary pretend play in early childhood. Participants included 655 children (330 male) and their mothers from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. At 15, 24, and 36 months of age, children's solitary pretend play during a free play task and the mother-child relationship during a semi-structured play task were observed and coded. Children's social pretend play with an age- and gender-matched, familiar peer was observed during semi-structured play at 36 months. Results from hierarchical regression analyses supported the following predictive relations: 1) frequency and quality of children's solitary pretense was best predicted by children's cognitive competence at 15 months, by intrusive and insensitive maternal engagement in play at 24 months, and by peer experience in child care at 36 months; 2) children's social pretend complexity with a peer at 36 months was predicted by early positive-mother-child play, peer experience in child care, a positive relationship with a same-aged or older peer, and pretend-agent behaviors during solitary pretense. These results suggest that although children's solitary and social pretend play are related, the development of social and solitary pretense is differentially predicted by children's social experience with family and peers.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zerwas, Stephanie C.stz1@pitt.eduSTZ1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrownell, Celia Abrownell@pitt.eduBROWNELL
Committee MemberJohnson, Carljohnson@pitt.eduJOHNSON
Committee MemberCampbell, Susansbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Date: 28 January 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 May 2003
Approval Date: 28 January 2004
Submission Date: 17 December 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: parenting; peers; pretense; toddlers
Other ID:, etd-12172003-115742
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:11
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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