Abstract

Although play is an important activity of childhood, it is often a neglected modality in occupational therapy. Poverty has been identified as a factor that adversely affects the play of children when a limited number of factors are studied. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore multiple play behaviors that may be related to socioeconomic status. The developmental play ages of 41 middle socioeconomic status preschool children (22 boys, 19 girls) and 43 low socioeconomic status preschool children (24 boys, 19 girls) were assessed with a modified version of the Preschool Play Scale (Bledsoe & Shepherd, 1982; Knox, 1974). Teachers rated the children’s play behavior after a minimum of 2 months of interaction in their preschool classrooms. No significant differences between these two groups of children were found for developmental play age, play dimensions, or play categories. It was concluded that the exposure to positive experiences, such as peer interaction and preschool setting, may minimize the effects of poverty conditions on the play behavior of children.

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