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Title:Preschool Play Behaviors: The Relationship to Sociometric Status, Divergent Thinking and Classroom Materials
Author(s):Tschantz, Linda Le Blanc
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:The major purpose of this research was to study preschool children's play behaviors and their relationship to: sociometric status, divergent thinking ability, and classroom materials. Ninety-five four-year-olds were observed during free play time and were administered three sociometric tests and a divergent thinking task. Positive nominations, negative nominations, and play rating scores were correlated with play behaviors. A negative relationship exists between onlooker and unoccupied behaviors and positive nominations and play rating scores. Most forms of group play were positively related to positive nominations. No relationship was discerned between divergent thinking and group-dramatic play.
For 15 days, classroom materials made available during free play time were rated along two dimensions--complexity and variety. Complexity refers to a material's potential for manipulation and alteration; while variety refers to the amount of things there are to do. A correlational analysis indicated that complexity was positively related to all forms of constructive play. Both variety and complexity were positively related to group-games and negatively related to unoccupied behavior.
The method of identifying status groups in the study yielded interesting results. Positive nominations, negative nominations, social preference, and social impact scores were used and four status groups were identified: popular, average, rejected, and neglected. In the study of play behaviors and peer group status, the analysis of variance procedures revealed no significant group differences on any play behaviors; however, group mean scores indicated that the neglected group had the highest unoccupied and onlooker scores and the lowest mean group-dramatic play scores.
The results of this study suggest that the choice of measures used to identify preschoolers who may be "at risk" in their peer relationships is dependent upon the size from which the peer group nominations are made and the target population to be identified. These issues are discussed in the study.
The study supports the use of multiple measures when assessing young children's social status. The research also supports the assessment of qualitative aspects of behavior in the study of peer relationships; specifically, the qualitative study of play behaviors of young children.
Issue Date:1984
Type:Text
Description:118 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/68969
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502324
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984


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