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Influence of Teacher-Child Attachment on Complexity of Play and Social Competence
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by Kelly Flouhouse, Jennette Schorsch, and Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler - Elon University
Categories: Developmental | Educational
We examined preschoolers' attachment to teachers and the influence of attachment on complexity of play and social competence. We hypothesized that secure teacher-child attachment would positively influence a child's complexity of play and social competence. Forty-seven preschoolers (26 boys, 21 girls) were recruited from three child care centers. Free play in the classroom was observed separately for each participant on three occasions and rated during six 5-min intervals. Teacher surveys categorized children as securely or insecurely attached. Results revealed that secure attachment was associated with higher complexity of play and social competence. Thus social and cognitive development result from combined factors that could transfer from teacher-child relationships to parents and/or other adults. Guidance, positive interaction, and constant support appear to enhance creative exploration.