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Description - The Nature of Play by Anthony D. Pellegrini

What is the role of play in child development? What is the relation between an organism's biology and the environment in which it develops? And how can studies of nonhuman primates, especially great apes - whose play patterns are in many ways similar to ours - help us understand the development and evolution of play in human children? This uniquely integrative volume brings together leading experts in developmental psychology and animal behavior to provide a new perspective on the nature and functions of play. Innovative and thought-provoking, the book is filled with compelling findings from a range of human and animal settings. In an introductory chapter, distinguished ethologist Patrick Bateson describes how youthful exploration and games contribute to both individual development and group survival - not only in humans, but in other species as well. Parallel chapters then examine rough-and-tumble play, object play, and pretend or fantasy play in humans and great apes. Explored are the ways in which specific play behaviors generate skills and knowledge that are needed for successful functioning throughout life, as well as what they reveal about evolutionary processes. Topics covered include: *How play fighting among both animals and humans enhances social cohesion *Sex differences in play from infancy through adolescence *Ways in which play fosters peer and parent-child relationships *How preschoolers learn to use objects as tools *Why imaginative play is so much more common in human children than in apes While much of the knowledge on human play comes from industrialized Western societies, the book also features important chapters on hunter-gatherer and pastoral cultures. Throughout, an array of black-and-white photographs and other illustrations enliven this authoritative work. Comprehensive and up to date, this tightly edited volume belongs on the desks of researchers and students in developmental psychology, comparative psychology, animal behavior, and evolutionary psychology, and will also be of interest to anthropologists. It is a richly informative text for advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781593851170
ISBN-10: 1593851170
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 308
Imprint: Guilford Publications
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Publish Date: 6-Dec-2004
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Anthony D. Pellegrini

Anthony D. Pellegrini, PhD, is Professor of Psychological Foundations of Education in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His primary interest is in the development of play and dominance. He also has research interests in methodological issues in the general area of human development, with specific interest in direct observations. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Spencer Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation. Dr. Pellegrini is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has been awarded a Fellowship from the British Psychological Society. Peter K. Smith, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Head of the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research interests are in social development, play, bullying in school, and evolutionary theory. Dr. Smith is coauthor of Understanding Children's Development and coeditor of The Nature of School Bullying and the Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development. He has written widely on children's play, particularly on pretend play training and rough-and-tumble play. Dr. Smith is also a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

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