The effect of specially designed garments on the observable make- believe play behavior of four- to six-year-old females
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The nonverbal messages conveyed by dress are learned earlier by today's children than they have been at any time in the past. Yet, little empirical research has examined the effect of clothing on the behavioral development of the preschool child. Dress is a medium for carrying out the serious roles of life, but it is also a medium for play. Although numerous studies have investigated play, an important element of child development, few have included dress as a factor.
Research has shown that not all children participate in all forms of play behavior, particularly dramatic play, which contains the element of make-believe. Furthermore, research has shown that increased associative fluency in preschool children is dependent specifically on the occurrence of make-believe play. A child, deficient in such divergent-thinking skills, would seem somewhat disadvantaged and less able to cope with a problematic environment.
The present study asks the question: Can the wearing of specially designed clothing raise levels of observable make-believe behavior for preschool children? Two research hypotheses were formulated to address this question: l) There will be a difference in player/nonplayer imaginativeness scores while wearing control and experimental garments. 2) There will be a difference in player/nonplayer imaginativeness scores while wearing Experimental Garment I or II.
- Doctoral Dissertations