Play and Development

Evolutionary, Sociocultural, and Functional Perspectives

Edited by Artin Goncu, Suzanne Gaskins

© 2007 – Psychology Press

324 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805863147
pub: 2007-01-15
US Dollars$49.95
Hardback: 9780805852615
pub: 2007-01-15
US Dollars$115.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Children's play is a universal human activity, and one that serves a significant purpose in personal development.

Throughout this volume, which is an extension of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society, the editors and contributors explore assumptions about play and its status as a unique and universal activity in humans.

As a whole, Play and Development delves into three lines of research concerning this topic: examining these assumptions from an ethological perspective, exploring the view of research that shows play to be socially and culturally constructed, and looking at varied applications of play in the different contexts of childhood.

Topics covered in this volume include:

  • evolutionary foundations and functions of play
  • children's play as cultural interpretation
  • the use of imagination in children's play
  • the imaginary companions created by children and adults

This volume will be of interest to scholars and researchers in the fields of developmental psychology and cognitive development, and will be sought out by active researchers and practitioners in the field.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Part I: Introduction. A. Göncü, S. Gaskins, An Integrative Perspective on Play and Development. Part II: Biological/Ethological Perspectives of Play and Development. P.K. Smith, Evolutionary Foundations and Functions of Play: An Overview. R.W. Mitchell, Pretense in Animals: The Continuing Relevance of Children's Pretense. A.D. Pellegrini, The Development and Function of Rough-and-Tumble Play in Childhood and Adolescence: A Sexual Selection Theory Perspective. Part III: Social/Cultural Perspectives of Play and Development. M.H. Bornstein, On the Significance of Social Relationships in the Development of Children's Earliest Symbolic Play: An Ecological Perspective. A. Lillard, Guided Participation: How Mothers Structure and Children Understand Pretend Play. A. Göncü, J. Jain, U. Tuermer, Children's Play as Cultural Interpretation. S. Gaskins, W. Haight, D.F. Lancy, The Cultural Construction of Play. Part IV: Applied Perspectives of Play and Development. P.L. Harris, Hard Work for the Imagination. M. Taylor, A.M. Mannering, Of Hobbes and Harvey: The Imaginary Companions Created By Children and Adults. A. Nicolopoulou, The Interplay of Play and Narrative in Children's Development: Theoretical Reflections and Concrete Examples. C.D. Clark, Therapeutic Advantages of Play.

About the Series

Jean Piaget Symposia Series

Each year, following their annual meeting, the Jean Piaget Society publishes an edited volume.  This approximately 300-page volume covers the main themes of the symposium and is published by Psychology Press.

Members of the society receive the volume free of charge. Non-members can order copies from this website.

About the Jean Piaget Society

The Jean Piaget Society, established in 1970, has an international, interdisciplinary membership of scholars, teachers and researchers interested in exploring the nature of the developmental construction of human knowledge. The Society was named in honor of the Swiss developmentalist, Jean Piaget, who made major theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of the origins and evolution of knowledge.

The Society's aim is to provide an open forum, through symposia, books, our journal, and other publications, for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work on issues related to human knowledge and its development. The Society further encourages the application of advances in the understanding of development to education and other domains.

In 1989, the name of the Society was changed to Jean Piaget Society: Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development.

You can find out more on the Jean Piaget Society website at .

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General