Parent-child physical and pretense play: Links to children's social competence

Eric W. Lindsey, Jacquelyn Mize

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Connections were examined between parent-child pretense and physical play and children's (median age = 5 years) social competence. Children's emotion knowledge and self-efficacy were assessed as possible mediators linking parent-child play behavior and children's social competence. The pattern of associations observed suggest that mutually responsive parent-child interaction during both pretense and physical play is associated with children's social competence. In addition, parent-child joint pretense play is linked to children's social competence. Children's emotion knowledge was positively associated with children's social competence, whereas children's self-efficacy was negatively associated with social competence. Tests for mediation revealed that parent-child mutual compliance during play accounted for unique variance in children's peer competence, whereas children's emotion knowledge did not account for a significant portion of the variance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-591
Number of pages27
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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