Pretend Play in Childhood: Foundation of Adult Creativity

Pages: 241
Item #: 4318122
ISBN: 978-1-4338-1561-4
List Price: $69.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $49.95
Copyright: 2014
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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Converging evidence suggests that pretend play in childhood has an important role in providing a foundation for adult creativity. Indeed, many of the processes central to creativity occur in pretend play.

In this book, Sandra W. Russ reviews the theory and research on pretend play and creativity, including cognitive and affective processes involved in play and creativity, possible evolutionary purposes of play, and its cultural variations. In particular, she highlights the importance of pretend play in helping children to access emotional memories and fantasies. She explains how creative processes in play can be measured using the Affect in Play Scale, which she developed and is included in the volume. Additionally, she describes play interventions designed to encourage creativity in children, with transcripts of sessions from a pilot intervention.

Brief case studies of creative adult scientists and artists are also presented, illustrating similarities in play processes and creative processes in adulthood.

Given the need for highly developed creativity in science, engineering, and the arts, the link between pretend play and creativity is important to explore. This book explores what we know about the topic and how researchers might approach future studies in this area.

Table of Contents



  1. Pretend Play and Creativity: An Overview
  2. Evolutionary, Psychoanalytic, and Developmental Theories of Pretend Play and Creativity
  3. Cognitive Processes in Pretend Play and Creativity
  4. Affective Processes in Pretend Play and Creativity
  5. Case Studies in Science and Technology
  6. Case Studies in the Arts
  7. Facilitating Pretend Play and Creativity in Training Programs
  8. Play, Culture, and the Modern World

Afterword: Converging Evidence

Appendix A: Affect in Play Scale

Appendix B: Transcripts From Play Facilitation Sessions



About the Author

Author Bio
Sandra W. Russ, PhD, a clinical child psychologist, is the Louis D. Beaumont university professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She has served as president of the Society for Personality Assessment; of the Clinical Child Section of APA Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology); and of Division 10 (Division of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts). She teaches a psychology of creativity seminar, and her research program has focused on relationships among pretend play, creativity, and adaptive functioning in children. Russ developed the Affect in Play Scale, which assesses pretend play in children, and she and her students are developing a play facilitation intervention. She is the author of Affect and Creativity: The Role of Affect and Play in the Creative Process (1993) and Play in Child Development and Psychotherapy: Toward Empirically Supported Practice (2004) and coauthor of Play in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Approaches (Russ & Niec, 2011).
Reviews & Awards

Quite fascinating and in many ways compelling.

Thorough and simply organized, this title is an invaluable resource.