What's real in children's fantasy play? Fantasy play across the transition to becoming a sibling

Laurie Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined children's fantasy enactments during the critical life transition of becoming a sibling to determine the degree to which the thematic content of fantasy play reflects children's realistic concerns. Thirty 3-5-year-old children played with their best friend at two pre- and three post-birth intervals. Mothers kept diary records of children's concerns, worries, and events they were excited about during 3-day periods surrounding the five play sessions. Raters then evaluated the degree to which the thematic content of the fantasy play was consistent with their concerns as reported by mothers. Overall, little convergence was apparent between the themes of fantasy play and children's perceived concerns. However, a modest relationship was found between acting out positive concerns in play and sibling relationship quality. Although these results lend limited support for the notion that children's concerns are reflected in the content of their spontaneous play, they do suggest that 'playing it out' is beneficial for children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Fantasy play
  • Peers
  • Siblings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'What's real in children's fantasy play? Fantasy play across the transition to becoming a sibling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this