Abstract and Keywords
To build a richer understanding of pretend play, it is important to identify the various facets of pretend play and the functions of each. This chapter focuses on the distinction between role-play (pretend play that involves the representation of social content) and object substitution (pretend play that involves the representation of nonsocial content). The evidence suggests that role-play is an individual difference variable that reflects children's interests, personalities, and proclivities and can extend beyond childhood to influence adult activities. In contrast, object substitution in pretend play shows a relatively short developmental progression that is similar for the majority of children and that is correlated with other cognitive behaviors that have a clear developmental trajectory, such as executive functioning and verbal ability.
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