Parent-Child Play

Descriptions and Implications

Edited by Kevin MacDonald

Subjects: Anthropology
Series: SUNY series, Children's Play in Society
Paperback : 9780791414644, 389 pages, July 1993
Hardcover : 9780791414637, 389 pages, July 1993

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Table of contents

Introduction: Parents and Children Playing
Kevin MacDonald

1. Dilemmas in Adult Play with Children
Brian Sutton-Smith

Part I. Theoretical Perspectives

2. Parent-Infant Games as Dynamic Social Systems
Alan Fogel, Evangeline Nwokah, and Jeanne Karns

3. Parent-Infant Play as a Window on Infant Competence: An Organizational Approach to Assessment
Marjorie Beeghley

4. Parent-Child Play: An Evolutionary Perspective
Kevin MacDonald
Part II. Mechanisms of Parent-Child Play

5. Rough and Tumble Play: A Fundamental Brain Process
Jaak Panksepp

6. Lessons from Primate Play
Maxine Biben and Steven J. Suomi

7. Parent-Child Physical Play: Determinants and Consequences
James Carson, Virginia Burks, and Ross D. Parke

8. The Necessary Lightness of Mother-Child Play
Phyllis Levenstein and John O'Hara

9. Mother-Infant Play and Maternal Depression
Jeffrey F. Cohn

Part III. Cross-Cultural Perspectives

10. Peekaboo across Cultures: How Mothers and Infants Play with Voices, Faces, and Expectations
Anne Fernald and Daniela K. O'Neill

11. Gentle Play Partners: Mother-Child and Father-Child Play in New Delhi, India
Jaipaul L. Roopnarine, Frank H. Hooper, Mohammad Ahmeduzzaman, and Brad Pollack

12. "Mother, Older Sibling and Me": The Overlapping Roles of Caregivers and Companions in the Social World of Two— to Three—Year-Olds in Ngeca, Kenya
Carolyn Pope Edwards and Beatrice B. Whiting

13. Persistence of Play and Feeding Interaction Differences in Three Miami Cultures
Tiffany M. Field

14. Cultural Differences in Scaffolding Pretend Play: A Comparison of American and Mexican Mother-Child and Sibling-Child Pairs
Jo Ann M. Farver

15. The Cultural Context of Mother-Infant Play in the Newborn Period
J. Kevin Nugent, Sheila Greene, Dorit Wieczoreck-Deering, Kathleen Mazor, John Hendler, and Cynthia Bombardier




This book provides the latest research and theory in the area of children's play with their parents. It includes discussions of the basic processes involved in parent-child play, parent-child play in atypical populations of children, and parent-child play in cross-cultural perspective.

An opening section on basic processes provides a general background on the mechanisms involved in play and provides a foundation for the rest of the book. The section on atypical populations focuses on parent-child play among clinical populations, including Down syndrome children, premature children, hyperactive children, and economically distressed families and families with depressed parents. It expands the context of the populations' data described in the first section and provides some additional insight into mechanisms. Finally, the book describes some of the enormous cross-cultural variations in play behavior.

Kevin MacDonald is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University at Long Beach.


"This very stimulating book challenges many of our assumptions about the significance of adult-child play and introduces refreshing and insightful theoretical perspectives." — Andrew J. Stremmel, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University