This study investigated the moderating effect of gender on the causal relationships between different school play activities (pretend and non-pretend play) and social competence in peer interactions among a sample of Hong Kong children. Participants were 60 Hong Kong preschoolers (mean age = 5.44, 36.67 % female). Children with matched home pretend play time period were randomly assigned to pretend or non-pretend play groups to take part in pretend or non-pretend play activities respectively in the 1-month kindergarten play training. Children’s pre- and post-training social competences were assessed by their teachers. Results revealed a trend that girls who participated in school pretend play tended to be less disruptive during peer interactions after the training than those who participated in non-pretend play, while boys were similarly benefited from the two play activities. The implications for play-related research and children’s social competence development are discussed.
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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
The article is based on the first author’s Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology thesis, under the supervision of the second author, submitted to the Hong Kong Institute of Education.
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Fung, Wk., Cheng, R.Wy. Effect of School Pretend Play on Preschoolers’ Social Competence in Peer Interactions: Gender as a Potential Moderator. Early Childhood Educ J 45, 35–42 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-015-0760-z