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Psychological Research Literature Review (Dissertation Review Sample)


A 8 page literature review using six sources.


Psychological Research Literature Review
Student’s Name

Play is significant in child’s psychological development as it is rich in learning situations. Many child psychology authors have emphasized on the importance of play in the development of a child. Through play, children interact with peers, some who are older and capable of imparting some social skills. Play enhances children’s creative capacity especially in a school setting. In schools, play is regulated by educators to ensure that children engage in it sparingly. Children are wired to engage in play and they are normally bound to take part in the most thrilling play no matter the risks involved. Low level of engagement in play is related to psychopathology problems. However, with guidance from parents, educators and authorities, child play can be tailored to be a positive engagement which can facilitate learning.
Childhood is regarded as one of the crucial stages in an individual’s development. It is important that young people go through this stage well to ensure that they are mentally and socially prepared to face their later life. One of the highly valued aspects of childhood development is play. It is clear that play at the developmental stages determines the relationship of a person with fellow societal members as it helps them develop competencies that are normally necessary in life. This implies that parents have to take good care of their children and ensure that they get enough play time which boosts their interaction with other children. The interaction of children in preschools from as young as 3 years ensures that young people begin their learning process early, but the role of play cannot be underestimated owing to the need to develop important social skills. Play and learning in children are interrelated with the former taking a significant role in facilitation of the latter.
According to Gray (2011b), mixed play which involves the free interaction of children of different ages enhances their developmental processes in that those who are younger learn from their older peers and acquire a sense of belonging due to the recognition they get. This is normally the case in early childhood education where the children in preschool are allowed to mingle freely with those who have already joined school in their transition periods. Gray likens the prospect of mixed-play among children to the practices exhibited by the prehumen ancestors and compares people with apes where the aged involve their offspring in everything they do. His study involves the observation of children interaction in a school that allows mixed play among all students. The experience witnessed in the school is quite critical and Gray finds out that whenever children with different ages play together, the older ones assume the position of role models and nurture their younger counterparts by lifting their thinking, playing and social skills to theirs. Gray goes on to note that age-mixed play has both educational and developmental benefits in that it provides young people with the opportunity to learn from others and only practice what seems to be socially acceptable. His research involves the use of primary data collection methods such as observation and interrogation of age-mixed play school administrators.
Russ & Wallace (2013) also focus on the importance of play in boosting young people’s creativity and development towards adulthood. These authors focus more on the importance of pretend play in improving the cognitive and affective processes of children. It is apparent that engaging young people in activities that require them to use their minds in the process of coming up with answers or responding perfectly to various plays makes them more creative by enhancing their reasoning capabilities. Russ & Wallace rely hugely on secondary data and make use of previous literatures giving inferences on studies taken on pretend play to make their own conclusions. Pretend play may include the use of objects such as puppets where young people are asked to make various movements. The literature used shows a close relationship between pretend play and divergent thinking and gives a positive psychological implication of play to young people.
School is regarded as the most ideal place where children may have their thinking capacities boosted through play. While children tend to be a nuisance their parents especially when they do not have other young people to engage with, schools merge people with certain similarities such as age and reasoning capabilities to learn together. Educators know how to balance between play and learning for children of all ages with preschools equipped with facilities that help in making youngsters creative. The hypothesis given by Russ & Wallace is that pretend play is closely connected to creativity and this is confirmed by the theories used in the study as well as the observations made with respect to creative development.
The role of play in child development is also supported by Samuelsson & Carlsson (2008) who emphasize on its importance in early childhood. They argue that play is often separate from learning for most children who seem to prefer the former during their growth. Samuelson & Carlsson maintain that while play is initiated by children, learning is usually instigated by adults and therefore it does not necessarily enter naturally into a child’s space. The reason why parents take their children to preschools is that it speeds their development by having educators bring play and learning together. To facilitate this, it is ensured that all the things required to make young people responsible are availed. For instance, early childhood education involves the provision of different skills that boost the creativity and literacy levels of kids by having helpful programs where children are given time to play outdoors with one another and learn how to reason independently in classes. Play is quite necessary in every child’s development since it makes someone more knowledgeable as a result of the efforts that need to be made towards the handling of any challenges encountered in it. Although play is not necessarily learning, as stipulated by Samuelsson & Carlsson, it helps young people share skills that make their learning easy. Good examples where children may attempt to make drawings that resemble the objects they use in their plays or where they emulate the activities they see adults taking part in. Samuelsson & Carlson do not use empirical methods to prove their inferences since their data collection mostly banked on secondary data.
Sandseter (2007) joins in the debate on the role of play in the psychological aspect of child development by bringing to light the aspect of youngsters engaging in risky plays. Through the use of empirical methodology, Sandseter finds out that most young people like to engage in plays that expose them to high chances of suffering physical injuries. This includes engaging in high speed plays, jumping from great heights, and the use of dangerous tools as well as playing around dangerous elements. This implies that children ore psychologically driven to take part in plays or any other activities that make them happy notwithstanding whether there are risks involved or not. As a result, children need to be taken care of while at home or in school and their movements have to be monitored to aid the process of having them distinguish what is good from what is unacceptable.
In a study related to Sandseter’s, Olson (2010) focuses on the benefits as well as threats posed by the increased preference of video game plays among children. There have been questions on whether it is better to find ways to minimize the threats posed and maximize the benefits or to prohibit video games among children of certain age altogether. It is evident that while some of the electronic games being played by young people are helpful in their developmental processes, others pose a threat to society. Young people have shown aggressiveness and desire to practice what they see in the video games practically and this is blamed for acts such as the recent shootings in a United States’ school which were perpetuated by school going children. However, playing these games seems to have developmental and cognitive benefits among young people provided that the right regulatory measures are put in place. As Olson puts it, authorities need to determine the content of the games played by children in their respective ages to promote their psychological development and avoid any undesirable consequences to society.
Reduced play is associated with psychopathology complications in children. Gray (2011a) tackles about the increase in psychopathology among children resulting from the decline in play. Acts such as suicide and feelings of depression, anxiety and helplessness seem to be high among young people who do not get the opportunity of playing given that play helps children learn how to control their emotions, relate with other people and solve problems by making sensible decisions. It is true that although the lack of free play time does not necessarily cause psychological changes, the failure...
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