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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the development of personal and fictional narratives across cultures from the perspective of imagination. Imaginative elements of narrative include the use of evaluations that reveal the narrator's perspective on events, counterfactual statements about how the event or story could have turned out otherwise, the blending of fact and fiction, and mental time travel to consider what will happen in the future. Children increase in the frequency and diversity of evaluations and other imaginative elements they use in their narratives with age, with parent—child interactions within cultures shaping the form and content of children's personal and fictional narratives. Theories of the link between play and narrative illuminate these changes in imaginative narratives across development and cultures. Both play and imaginative narratives may arise from individual differences in creativity, but the outlets for this creativity may depend upon cultural preferences for play and narrative.

Keywords: child-rearing practices, culture, development, narrative, pretend play, socialization

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