Parent-child play: an exploration of the beliefs and behaviours of mothers of preschoolers

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
The study investigated how mothers experience parent-child play. It described how mothers think about play, their observed behaviours, and how their beliefs relate to their play behaviours. Two conceptual categories of behaviours were generated from Landreth’s (1991) model of filial therapy (do behaviours and don’t behaviours). Twenty-eight Canadian mothers with their preschoolers participated in this study. Mothers behaved in a predominantly child-centered manner. Correlational analysis indicated behaviours of initiation, preaching, and allowing child leadership were related to some maternal play beliefs. In addition, a qualitative description of mothers’ play comfort is outlined. Maternal-child play comfort incorporated maternal beliefs, their relationship dynamics, their emotions, and their responses to play. The implications for parent education and support, and therapy are discussed.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Keats, Patrice
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