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Do American adults value play and playfulness in children? An exploration of parents' attitudes towards playfulness in their children




Pascual, Zennifer Asa, author
Bundy, Anita C., advisor
Barrett, Karen Caplovitz, committee member

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The recent trend in American culture grants play and a playful attitude vital places in adult life, and shies away from work as the governing activity of one's life. Previous research, however, found that adults did not value play in their children. This study explored whether American adults' attitudes now support the recent trend recognizing the importance of play and playfulness in children. American parents of preschool children responded to a questionnaire investigating their attitudes towards play and playfulness. Their responses indicated that American adults recognize the value of play for its own sake and can identify the significant individual dimensions that comprise playfulness. Noteworthy was the low valuation parents placed on the sense of humor dimension, for humor is synonymous with playfulness. Discussion on the significance of the results, recommendations for future research, and a review of the history of play, work, and child-rearing attitudes in America are provided.


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Play assessment (Child psychology)


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