Parental play supportiveness and kindergartners’ peer problems: Children's playfulness as a potential mediator

Wing Kai FUNG, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG

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Abstract

This study examined the mediating role of children's playfulness in the relationship between parental play supportiveness and children's prospective peer problems in a sample of Hong Kong Chinese kindergarten children. Participants were parents and teachers of 108 local children (56% boys, mean age = 60.0 months). At time 1, parents reported their supportiveness towards household play and their child's playfulness through a questionnaire. Six months later at time 2, teachers reported children's peer problems as exhibited in the kindergarten. A path analytic model revealed that, controlling for child age, gender, and birth order, parental play supportiveness and children's playfulness at time 1 were positively associated, and that playfulness at time 1 negatively predicted peer problems at time 2. The indirect relationship between parental play supportiveness and peer problems as mediated through playfulness was significant, whereas the direct relationship between parental play supportiveness and peer problems was non-significant. These findings suggest that parents who support children's household play may promote children's capacity to establish positive peer relationships by improving their level of playfulness. Practically, the results highlight the utility of fostering parental play supportiveness and children's playfulness to support kindergarten children's social development. Copyright © 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Development
Early online date12 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2022

Citation

Fung, W. K., & Chung, K. K. H. (2022). Parental play supportiveness and kindergartners’ peer problems: Children's playfulness as a potential mediator. Social Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/sode.12603

Keywords

  • Indirect relationship
  • Kindergarten children
  • Parental play supportiveness
  • Peer problems
  • Playfulness

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