1. bookVolume 5 (2018): Issue 1 (September 2018)
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

Potential Mechanisms Underlying the Impact of Imaginative Play on Socio-Emotional Development in Childhood

Published Online: 25 Sep 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 5 (2018) - Issue 1 (September 2018)
Page range: 84 - 103
Received: 10 May 2018
Accepted: 28 Aug 2018
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

The aim of this paper is to weigh the empirical and hypothetical evidence to assess the claim that imaginative play supports the acquisition and development of social and emotional competence. We analyse children’s play and social skills using a development-based perspective. On this basis, we describe the developmental trajectories of imaginative play and the components of socio-emotional competence during childhood, especially in the pre-school period. In addition, we review the research literature on the possible link between imaginative play and creativity in children, and on how this type of play is predictive of later life creativity. Finally, we discuss hypothetical mechanisms that may account for the relationship between imaginative play and social competence in the preschool years and beyond.


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