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Description: Twin studies are likely to be an effective research method for tackling etiological questions about play by drawing on existing large datasets that can support the use of advanced statistical analyses and quantitative genetics methodologies. Specifically, twin data can also be used to clarify the nature of associations between play and other important aspects of development like cognitive development, language, child psychopathology, etc. Although twin studies are not causal designs, investigating whether children’s playful dispositions are attributable to common genetic or environmental influences is a useful step in understanding the extent to which play is a heritable trait. Twins are a unique group as they have the benefit of having a same age play partner from birth, but few studies have been published on twin play or compared differential associations between play and various child outcomes in the early years. Furthermore, very little work has been done to expressly unpack the specific aspects of development that share the strongest associations with play or that play is most likely to predict during the early years of children’s development. An initial search of the literature identified McEwen et al.’s (2007) work which investigated links between imitation with language, pretend play, and socially insightful behaviour in two‐year‐old twins and found pretend play to be significantly correlated with all three variables. An understanding of genetic and environmental influences on play and its association with a broad range of developmental variables can begin to illuminate specific pathways by which play impacts development. The finding has wide implications for the field of play research and for considering how children’s play can be better utilised to support their growth.

License: Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0

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Play and Psychopathology: An Etiological Work of the influence of Genetic and Environmental factors | Registered: 2021-02-04 20:12 UTC

Twin studies are likely to be an effective research method for tackling etiological questions about play by drawing on existing large datasets that ca...

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