Children’s Perceptions of Their Play: Scale Development and Validation

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A wealth of research has been conducted on children’s play, yet the vast majority has relied on others’ accounts to define, describe, and characterize their play. This study presents a successful effort to generate a scale to measure third through fifth grade children’s perceptions of their play. Items were generated from children’s unrestricted accounts of how they viewed their play, and the reliability (internal consistency, stability), content, and construct (convergent and discriminant) validity of the Children’s Perceptions of Their Play (CPTP) scale were all high. Across two independent samples, children defined their play in terms of six factors: opportunities to choose what to do and with whom (Child’s Choice), play interactions with friends (Social Play), structured recreation activities in which they chose to participate (Planned Activities), their involvement and absorption in play (Engagement), how physically active they are (Active Play), and freedom from school obligations when they were able to play as they desired (Free Time). No differences between boys and girls, the three grade levels, or children attending public versus private school were found.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number284741
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalChild Development Research
StatePublished - Nov 21 2013


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