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Young Children's Story Recall as a Product of Play, Story Familiarity, and Adult Intervention

Steven B. Silvern, Janet B. Taylor, Peter A. Williamson, Elaine Surbeck and Michael F. Kelley
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
Vol. 32, No. 1 (January 1986), pp. 73-86
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23086243
Page Count: 14
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Young Children's Story Recall as a Product of Play, Story Familiarity, and Adult Intervention
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Abstract

Two concerns in play research were addressed: the degree of adult intervention and the cognitive constructive nature of play. It was hypothesized that the degree of adult intervention would not make a difference in play treatments and that thematic-fantasy play would serve to construct metalinguistic understandings. Experiment 1, using 505 subjects, indicated that thematic-fantasy play experiences facilitated ability to recall a story that was not acted out (p <.001). A significant Age × Treatment interaction (p <.05), indicating play was facilitative for younger subjects but not older, supported the hypothesis that young children gained metalinguistic "story" knowledge through thematic-fantasy play. Experiment 2, with 340 subjects, replicated the play effect of Experiment 1 and examined the effects of adult intervention in play. Although play remained facilitative for recall (p <.001), no differences were found between facilitative and directive play intervention. A significant interaction between adult intervention and children's familiarity with the thematic-fantasy play story indicated that recall was aided by directive intervention for unfamiliar stories and facilitative intervention for familiar stories.

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