- Oxford Library of Psychology
- The Oxford Handbook of the Development of Play
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editor
- Defining and Recognizing Play
- Cultural Variations in Beliefs about Play, Parent–Child Play, and Children’s Play: Meaning for Childhood Development
- Theories of Play
- Comparing and Extending Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Understandings of Play: Symbolic Play as Individual, Sociocultural, and Educational Interpretation
- Gene × Environment Interactions and Social Play: Contributions from Rhesus Macaques
- Playing at Every Age: Modalities and Potential Functions in Non-Human Primates
- Play and Development
- The History of Children’s Play in the United States
- The Antipathies of Play
- The Cultural Ecology of Play: Methodological Considerations for Studying Play in Its Everyday Contexts
- Observational Methods in Studying Play
- Object Play and Tool Use: Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives
- The Development and Function of Locomotor Play
- Not Just “Playing Alone”: Exploring Multiple Forms of Nonsocial Play in Childhood
- Internalizing and Externalizing Disorders during Childhood: Implications for Social Play
- Gender and Temperament in Young Children’s Social Interactions
- Social Play of Children with Adults and Peers
- Rough-and-Tumble Play: Training and Using the Social Brain
- Children’s Games and Playground Activities in School and Their Role in Development
- Mother–Child Fantasy Play
- Origins and Consequences of Social Pretend Play
- The Development of Pretend Play in Autism
- Technology and Play
- Playing Around in School: Implications for Learning and Educational Policy
Abstract and Keywords
During early childhood, play with peers becomes an important form of social interaction for many children. Among the various ways that children play together, pretend play, often in the form of sociodramatic or role play, has received considerable attention due to its potential influence on children’s understanding of the beliefs and emotions of others. This chapter places social pretend play in two broad contexts. One is the similarities and differences between animal and human pretense. The other is the influence of culture, including family and community values and activities, on the frequency and type of make-believe play with others. Potential consequences of role play are evaluated through a discussion of empirical work on a number of possible contributors to the development of belief-emotion understanding, including family interactions and language abilities. Possible models are discussed for evaluating the influence of role play, language, and family relationships on children’s understanding of other minds.
Robert D. Kavanaugh, Department of Psychology, Williams College.
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