The influence of selected toys on the cooperative play behaviors of preschool children

Claudette Cecilie Rodney, Pace University


Various researchers including Hulson (1930). Updegraff & Herbst (1933), Hendrickson, Strain, Tremblay & Shores (1981), through careful observation of children at play with selected toys, have categorized some toys as either promoting cooperative or isolative play behaviors. The present study was conducted to determine whether the manipulation of a selected group of toys--cooperative or isolative would significantly influence the cooperative play behaviors of preschool children: and whether or not after exposure to the cooperative toys condition, the frequency of cooperative play behaviors would be greater than isolative play behaviors when the children played in other settings, i.e. free-play in the classroom.^ In Study 1, the frequency of cooperative play behaviors of five subgroups was observed during a 10 minute baseline period, followed by exposure to the cooperative treatment condition, for twenty minutes, then observation of cooperative play behaviors during a ten minute freeplay session. Similarly, six subgroups of children were exposed to the isolative treatment condition followed by observation of cooperative play behaviors during free-play.^ Results indicated significant differences in the overall mean scores obtained for cooperative play behaviors during the treatment conditions. The male participants displayed a significant group by time interaction. Trends also suggested the possibility of obtaining a group by gender by time interaction with a larger sample size.^ In Study 2, three subgroups were exposed to repeated trials of either cooperative, isolative treatment conditions or free-play for 4 consecutive days for twenty minute periods. Two weeks later a ten minute follow-up observation of cooperative play behaviors was done during free-play.^ Although analysis was limited by the small sample size, the groups showed significant differences in levels of cooperative play behaviors, a main effect of group by time. Future research obtaining significant results would be of value in guiding the selection of specific toys in the formulation of treatment plans to modify maladaptive or undesirable social behavior patterns. Such studies would be an asset in teaching children a range of social skills in a systematic fashion rather than by trial and error. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Experimental

Recommended Citation

Claudette Cecilie Rodney, "The influence of selected toys on the cooperative play behaviors of preschool children" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9704829.



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