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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews studies in nonhuman primates, particularly the rhesus macaque, which document a role for social play in reflecting and contributing to the development of social competence. We begin by reviewing what is known about the developmental progression of social play. Then we discuss what is known about the impact of various forms of early social deprivation, as well as acute environmental stressors, on the frequency and quality of social play. Subsequently, we review what is known about genetic influences, such as gender, temperament, and candidate genes, on rates of social play. In a penultimate section, we discuss what is known about gene-by-environment interactions involving gender and candidate genes, on social play. We conclude by exploring implications of nonhuman primate studies for understanding social play and the development of social competence in children.

Keywords: play, social play, primates, rhesus macaque, nonhuman primates, social development, genetic influences

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