An exploration of children's play : classifying play and exploring gender differences in aggressive play
The aim of this study was to explore children's play, looking at developmental domains of play and gender differences in aggressive play. Chapter One reviewed existing literature on types and functions of play. Five developmental domains of play that incorporate types and functions were proposed, namely sensorimotor, cognitive, socio-communicative, imaginative/ creative and emotional. Chapter Two involved an observational study of children's play. An attempt was made to explore the existence and occurrence of the developmental domains that were proposed in Chapter One. Results suggested that the domains exist in this sample of children's play. Children statistically spent the most time in sensorimotor and imaginative/ creative play, compared to the other types of play. No statistical difference was found in gender with respects to time spent playing in the domains. Clinical implications are discussed. Future research is required to create more valid and reliable criteria for the domains and age-related norms. Chapter Three investigated gender differences in the duration of aggressive play. An observational study of children's play was carried out. The duration of time of aggessive play in each child's play was recorded and analysed. Results showed that boys displayed statistically more aggressive play than girls in this sample. Clinical implications are discussed. Chapter Four reviews the previous three chapters, looking at methodological limitations, observations of the research process and personal reflections.