Psychology Bulletin2013-09-05 2:57 AM

Does pretend play matter? Searching for evidence: Comment on Lillard et al

Abstract Lillard et al. (2013) have done a thorough review of published pretend play research from the past 50 plus years. However, they did not thoroughly address the reasons why this body of research has such flaws as well as the contradictory or minimal findings that call into question strongly held views and published assertions regarding the importance of the role of pretend play in fostering children's developmental progress. This comment addresses 3 aspects of the problematic nature of play research: First, I suggest that the research methods in most of these studies were unable to capture genuine pretend play, instead measuring “playful work.” Second, I encourage rigorous research designs to better capture genuine examples of the pretend play phenomenon in order to gain deeper insights into these relationships. Third, I speculate on why pretend play development, as a valued behavior independent of its influence on other areas of development, is rarely undertaken and provide suggestions regarding this research direction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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Psychology Bulletin

Psychological Bulletin is a bimonthly peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes evaluative and integrative research reviews and interpretations of issues in psychology, including both qualitative (narrative) and/or quantitative (meta-analytic) aspects.

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