Title

Sequential transition patterns of preschoolers’ social interactions during child-initiated play: Is parallel-aware play a bidirectional bridge to other play states?

Keywords

Preschoolers, Child-initiated play, Parallel-aware play

Abstract

Lag-sequential analysis was used to explore the simultaneous sequential transition patterns of preschoolers’ social play within natural classroom settings. Subjects were 167 middle- and lower-income 4-year-olds (90 boys and 77 girls) videotaped in three child-initiated play centers. Results indicated that the proportion of social-play states did not vary during the play episodes even when accounting for type of activity center, gender, and SES. Findings also revealed that, during and within child-initiated play centers, a reciprocal relationship existed between parallel-aware and other social-play states. Specifically, knowing preschoolers who were in parallel-aware play significantly increased the likelihood of predicting their shifts into cooperative-social and onlooker play; while knowing children were in cooperative-social, onlooker, and solitary-constructive play predicted shifts into parallel-aware play. Likewise, similar to school-age children’s group-entry patterns, preschoolers exhibited a three-step sequential play pattern of going from onlooker behavior into parallel-aware play then into cooperative-social play during child-initiated activities. Also supported was the notion that during child-initiated play episodes parallel-aware play is more than a static bridge into cooperative-social play; it is a dynamic bidirectional crossroad between other social-play states.

Original Publication Citation

Robinson, C.C., *Anderson, G.T., Porter, C.L., Hart, C.H., & *Wooden-Miller, M. (2003). Sequential patterns of preschoolers’ social interactions during child-initiated play: Is parallel-aware play a bidirectional bridge to other play states? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 1-19.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2003-3

Publisher

Early Childhood Research Quarterly

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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