Overexcitabilities and bidirectional development in playfulness and creative potential among kindergarten children

Wing Kai FUNG, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the bidirectional relationship between children’s playfulness and creative potential and how these factors were longitudinally related to overexcitabilities. The participants were parents and teachers of 139 Hong Kong kindergarten children (52.1% boys, Mage = 4.4 years, age range= 3.4–5.9 years). At Time 1, the parents reported their children’s overexcitabilities (imaginational, psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, and emotional), and the teachers rated children’s playfulness (physical spontaneity, social spontaneity, cognitive spontaneity, manifest joy, and sense of humor) and creative potential (creative personality traits). Six months later, at Time 2, the teachers’ ratings of playfulness and creative potential were obtained. The results from the cross-lagged model revealed that the path from playfulness at Time 1 to creative potential at Time 2 and the path from creative potential at Time 1 to playfulness at Time 2 were both significant when the children’s age, gender, and their parent’s education were controlled. The indirect relationship between intellectual overexcitability at Time 1 and creative potential at Time 2, mediating through playfulness at Time 1, was also significant. These findings suggest that children who are overexcitable about manipulating concepts and ideas tend to be more playful and exhibit higher creative potential. At the same time, their creative potential may drive them to act playfully and engage in future kindergarten play. Practically, the results highlight the utility of promoting children’s playfulness and creative potential through increased participation in kindergarten group play activities such as sociodramatic play. Copyright © 2023 American Psychological Association.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Early online dateDec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 2023

Citation

Fung, W. K., & Chung, K. K. H. (2023). Overexcitabilities and bidirectional development in playfulness and creative potential among kindergarten children. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000633

Keywords

  • Overexcitabilities
  • Playfulness
  • Creative potential
  • Kindergarten children
  • Bidirectionality

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