5-1 | Pretend Play, Coping, and Subjective Well-Being in Children


Pretend Play, Coping, and Subjective Well-Being in Children
A Follow-up Study

Julie A. Fiorelli and Sandra W. Russ


Researchers, the authors state, link play to cognitive and affective processes important for a child’s development and overall well-being. In this article, the authors examine the relationships involving pretend play, coping, and subjective well-being (the last of which they conceptualize as positive affect—positive mood—and life satisfaction) and investigate the stability and predictive power of play skills. They report on a study in which they measured the pretend play, coping skills, positive affect, and life satisfaction of thirty girls in kindergarten through fourth grade and compared these measures to the girls’ pretend play eighteen months earlier. They found that affect or emotional themes in play related to positive mood in daily life and that imagination and organization in play related to coping ability. Their results, they concluded, also support the stability of imagination and organization in pretend play over time. Key words: coping skills; divergent thinking; imagination in play; make-believe; organization in play; pretend play; subjective well-being