The influence of culture on pretend play: The case of mennonite children

Stephanie M. Carlson, Marjorie Taylor, Gerald R. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Teacher attitudes about pretend play were compared in Old Order Mennonite, New Order Mennonite, and non-Mennonite Christian schools. These subcultures differ in modernity, media exposure, and encouragement of pretend play. Non-Mennonite teachers were the most positive about pretend play, but Old Order Mennonite teachers were the most positive about private fantasies (e.g., imaginary companions). Although the proportion of children's pretend play at recess did not differ across groups, Old Order Mennonite children's play themes adhered more closely to real-life family roles. Teacher attitudes about pretend play were related to the imaginativeness of children's social play. These findings suggest it is important to investigate the influence of culture on pretend play in both social and nonsocial contexts and the processes by which this influence occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-565
Number of pages28
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Volume44
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

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