Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology Lecture Series - Sandra Russ: Pretend Play, Imagination and Creativity: Why Pretend Play is Important

Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: JO 2.604
Admission: Free
Season: 2017-18

About the Lecture:

Pretend play has an important role in child development. Many studies have found that pretend play is associated with creativity in children. For example, in my studies, we found that imagination and affect expression in pretend play samples are related to divergent thinking, creativity in stories, and teacher ratings of creativity, independent of verbal intelligence.  We also found that pretend play ability is associated with positive mood and coping ability. I will briefly review the Affect in Play Scale (Russ, 1993; 2014), a play administration and coding system that measures aspects of play in a 5 minute play session. Because pretend play is associated with so many areas of adaptive functioning in children, a key question is whether we can enhance development in these areas through play interventions. I will review research in my program that has developed a play intervention protocol that has improved creativity when compared with control groups.  We have adapted this play intervention for a video-based intervention for atypical children. Implications for using pretend play in school and home settings will be discussed.

About the Author:

Dr. Russ is Distinguished University Professor and Louis D. Beaumont University Professor. Her research has focused on understanding how pretend play is involved in child development and in child psychotherapy. She has worked to develop a measure of pretend play that assesses both cognitive and affective processes. She and her team of students have also carried-out a number of studies that have investigated the relationship between pretend play and areas of adaptive functioning such as creativity, coping, and emotional understanding. In addition, she has developed play intervention procedures to help children improve their play skills. She is the author of Pretend Play in Childhood: The Foundation of Adult Creativity (2013), American Psychological Association.

 

 



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