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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Julia Wilkins

Subject Area

Education

Abstract

I conducted 10 one-hour observations in a Kindergarten classroom to determine if there were gender differences in the types of Rough and Tumble play (RTP) that children engaged in. Previous research reported that (a) boys were more likely than girls to engage in RTP, (b) boys were more likely than girls to engage in solitary forms of RTP, (c) girls were more likely than boys to engage in collaborative forms of RTP, and (d) boys were more likely than girls to engage in aggressive forms of RTP. My findings were similar to those of previous research. I found that boys participated in RTP more than girls and the forms of RTP engaged in by boys were more aggressive. I also found that boys engaged in more solitary RTP than girls, although both boys and girls engaged in more solitary than collaborative RTP. Unlike previous research findings, boys and girls in my study engaged in similar rates of collaborative RTP. I also found that the presence of one particular girl influenced the occurrence of collaborative mixed-gender RTP, which I refer to as the "Amber Effect." The influence of one player on the likelihood of RTP occurring has not been reported in previous research. Pseudonyms are used throughout this article to maintain the confidentiality of the site and participants in this study.

Keywords

rough and tumble play, kindergarten, gender, play behaviors

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