Pretend play and social competence in peer play groups of five-year-old boys and girls

Jieun Choi1, Jung Ae Ohm2
1Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University, United States
2Department of Early Childhood Education, Ewha Womans University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Choi, J., & Ohm, J. A. (2018). Pretend play and social competence in peer play groups of five-year-old boys and girls. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(8), 1255-1270.

Volume 46 Issue 8 | e6928 | Published: August 2018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6928

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We examined the associations among different types of pretend play in peer play groups, as well as the associations between pretend play with peer play groups and children’s social competence. Participants were 87 Korean preschool students (42 boys, 45 girls). We observed the participants’ pretend play with same-gender, opposite-gender, and mixed-gender peers, and both teachers and peers provided assessments of the children’s social competence. Analyses revealed that pretend play with the same-gender peer play group was negatively associated with those of the opposite- and mixed-gender peer play group for boys, whereas it was positively associated for girls. For both boys and girls, social competence as measured by opposite-gender peers was negatively associated with pretend play in the same-gender peer play group. Social competence as measured by teachers was significantly negatively associated with pretend play with mixed-gender peers for girls.

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