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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The development of social play in children in the toddler and preschool periods of development is placed within a theoretical framework that integrates theories of development with theories of development within context, as well as with theories of cultural community. The practices and activities of a cultural community are the socio-cultural context for adult socialization of children’s forms and styles of social play. Social play is a behavioral manifestation of social competence. Antecedents of social play development include the child capacities, relationships with adult caregivers, and the social and emotional climate of the social setting of play. Future research on social play needs to examine and understand the development of children’s play when the play partner, adult or peer, comes from a different home cultural community than the child. Future social policy-directed research needs to examine trends in opportunities to play within programs for young children.

Keywords: Keywords, cultural community, social competence, social play, attachment relationships, social climate, emotion regulation, communicative competence

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