Validation of the penn interactive peer play scale with preschool children in low-income families in Hong Kong

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Play is a primary context for fostering young children's positive peer interactions. Through play, children develop the social, emotional, cognitive and language skills that contribute to the ability to establish effective relationships with peers. The Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale (PIPPS) was first developed by Fantuzzo to assess the quality of peer interactions among low-income preschoolers in the USA. The present study invited 1622 children aged three to six and 152 teachers in 10 kindergartens in districts with high child poverty rates in Hong Kong to participate in the study (a) to validate the psychometric properties of a culturally, developmentally and linguistically appropriate version of the PIPPS using confirmatory factor analysis, (b) to investigate gender and (c) age differences in peer play, and (d) to inform early childhood intervention for children in low-income families. Translation and back-translation – a commonly used procedure in the translation of cross-cultural research instruments – was adopted. Results indicated that the three-factor model of the PIPPS (play interaction, play disruption and play disconnection) statistically fit the results in the Hong Kong sample. Girls exhibited greater play interaction and less play disruption and play disconnection. Peer interactive play behaviour increased with age. The cultural and linguistic contexts of scale development should receive attention in future research. Recommendations are made regarding lexical access in non-alphabetical language systems like Chinese; cultural understandings of shyness, withdrawal and social disinterest as they relate to the interpretation of play behaviour; and establishing the concurrent validity of the Hong Kong version of the PIPPS. Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-137
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
Early online dateApr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Hong Kong
Preschool Children
Foster Home Care
Statistical Factor Analysis


Leung, C.-H. (2014). Validation of the penn interactive peer play scale with preschool children in low-income families in Hong Kong. Early Child Development and Care, 184(1), 118-137.


  • Low-income families
  • CFA
  • Cultural specifics