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Delay of gratification and make-believe play of preschoolers.

Abstract. This study examined the relationship between children's ability to delay gratification GRATIFICATION. A reward given voluntarily for some service or benefit rendered, without being requested so to do, either expressly or by implication.  and time spent in make-believe play in a sample of 39 three-to five-year-old Adj. 1. five-year-old - five years of age
young, immature - (used of living things especially persons) in an early period of life or development or growth; "young people"
 children. Delay of gratification was determined in an experimental situation (Mischel, 1974). Children's play was assessed using a teacher questionnaire, a mother interview, a child interview, and videotaped naturalistic nat·u·ral·is·tic  
1. Imitating or producing the effect or appearance of nature.

2. Of or in accordance with the doctrines of naturalism.
 preschool classroom observations. Children who spent more time in make-believe play were able to delay gratification longer than children who spent less time in make-believe play (p = .025). There was a significant correlation between make-believe play at home and delay of gratification (p = .047), but no significant relationship between make-believe play at preschool and delay of gratification. Separate one-way one-way
1. Moving or permitting movement in one direction only: a one-way street.

2. Providing for travel in one direction only: a one-way ticket.
 analyses of variance The discrepancy between what a party to a lawsuit alleges will be proved in pleadings and what the party actually proves at trial.

In Zoning law, an official permit to use property in a manner that departs from the way in which other property in the same locality
 found make-believe play (p = .042) was the only significant variable related to delay of gratification when age, sex, family structure, ethnicity ethnicity Vox populi Racial status–ie, African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic , child care center, mother education, and make-believe play were examined. Solitary solitary /sol·i·tary/ (sol´i-tar?e)
1. alone; separated from others.

2. living alone or in pairs only.


being the only one or ones.
 play versus social play and delay of gratification were not significantly related (p = .512) when examined by one-way analyses of variance.


Emotion regulation is difficult to define universally. The term has been used interchangeably INTERCHANGEABLY. Formerly when deeds of land were made, where there Were covenants to be performed on both sides, it was usual to make two deeds exactly similar to each other, and to exchange them; in the attesting clause, the words, In witness whereof the parties have hereunto  in the research literature with self-regulation The term self-regulation can signify
  • in systems theory: homeostasis
  • in sociology / psychology: self-control
  • in educational psychology: self-regulated learning
  • Self-Regulation Theory (SRT) is a system of conscious personal health management
, impulse control impulse control Psychology The degree to which a person can control the desire for immediate gratification or other; IC may be the single most important indicator of a person's future adaptation in terms of number of friends, school performance and future , and delay of gratification. Emotion- or self-regulation is a diverse set of several skills rather than one behavior (Walden Walden

Thoreau’s classic; advocates a return to nature. [Am. Lit.: Van Doren, 208]

See : Pastoralism
 & Smith, 1997). While others (Elias Elias (ēlī`əs), Greek form of Elijah.  & Berk, 2002) recently have examined self-regulation in relation to make-believe play, the present study examines one component of emotion regulation that is paramount in normal personality development--delay of gratification (Bijou & Baer, 1961; Freud Freud , Anna 1895-1982.

Austrian-born British psychoanalyst noted for her application of psychoanalysis to child therapy.

Freud, Sigmund 1856-1939.
, A., 1965; Freud, S., 1946; Funder, Block, & Block, 1983; Mischel, 1966; Mischel, Shoda, & Peake Peake may refer to:
  • Peake, South Australia, a small rural town
  • Peake (surname), people with the surname Peake
See also
  • Peak
, 1988; Singer, 1955).

What Is Delay of Gratification?

Delay of gratification can be defined as "the ability to deny impulse impulse, in mechanics: see momentum.
Impulse (mechanics)

The integral of a force over an interval of time. For a force F , the impulse J over the interval from t0 to t1
 in the service of a goal" (Goleman, 1995, p. 83). This ability must be self-imposed self-im·posed
Imposed by oneself on oneself; voluntarily assumed or endured: self-imposed exile.

Adj. 1.
. Children have many opportunities to delay gratification without parent or teacher involvement, whether it is waiting for their turn in a game, waiting to share their favorite toy, or waiting to speak at appropriate times during a conversation. None of these examples are things a child must do, but rather are what the child does in order to receive a reward or desired outcome, such as playing a game with friends, having a mutually enjoyable time with a playmate, or engaging in a conversation. Delay of gratification is more complex than merely waiting for something when an adult requests the behavior; it requires that the child must choose to delay gratification without external influences. The internalized, self-imposed behavioral behavioral

pertaining to behavior.

behavioral disorders
see vice.

behavioral seizure
see psychomotor seizure.
 component is fundamental to the ability to delay gratification.

Several studies have examined possible factors that contribute to the development of delay of gratification. Some of these factors are parental knowledge (Horn & Knight, 1996), parental discipline style (Mauro & Harris Harris, Scotland: see Lewis and Harris. , 2000; Weller Wel·ler , Thomas Huckle Born 1915.

American microbiologist. He shared a 1954 Nobel Prize for work on the cultivation of the polio virus.
 & Berkowitz Berkowitz is a surname. Famous people with this name include:
  • David Berkowitz, a serial killer (Son of Sam)
  • Edward Berkowitz
  • Ethan Berkowitz, American politician in Alaska
  • Gary Berkowitz, American Radio Frontier
, 1975), choice (Hom& Fabes, 1984), self-discovery (Hom& Knight, 1996; Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriguez, 1989; Shoda, Mischel, & Peake, 1990), technique used to delay gratification (Hom & Knight, 1996; Mischel et al., 1989), and make-believe play (Franklin, 1975; Meichenbaum & Goodman Goodman was a polite term of address, used where Mister (Mr.) would be used today. Compare Goodwife.

Goodman refers to:

  • goodwife, Mississippi, USA
  • Goodman, Missouri, USA
  • Goodman, Wisconsin, USA
, 1971; Mischel & Baker, 1975; Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977). Riess (1957) and Singer (1955, 1961) reported that children's make-believe play at home was related to longer wait times and delay of gratification.

What Is Make-Believe Play?

Pretense (Rubin, Fein, & Vandenburg, 1983) is distinguished from other forms of play by "its relation to instrumental behaviors" (p. 699). Only if the "child gives to these activities 'as if' status" does it qualify as make-believe play; otherwise "the activity is not viewed as pretense" (p. 699). Make-believe play requires that the child enact familiar and imaginary Imaginary can refer to:
  • Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology
  • Imaginary number, a concept in mathematics
  • Imaginary time, a concept in physics
  • Imagination, a mental faculty
  • Object of the mind, an object of the imagination
  • Imaginary enemy
 activities and situations that are not real.

Play and Social-Emotional Development

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Vygotsky (1966), a child is "always above his average age, above his daily behavior" in make-believe play (p. 552), and make-believe "play contains all developmental tendencies in a condensed con·dense  
v. con·densed, con·dens·ing, con·dens·es
1. To reduce the volume or compass of.

2. To make more concise; abridge or shorten.

3. Physics
 form and is itself a major source of development" (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 102). This is especially evident in the social-emotional domain.

Children practice reciprocity reciprocity

In international trade, the granting of mutual concessions on tariffs, quotas, or other commercial restrictions. Reciprocity implies that these concessions are neither intended nor expected to be generalized to other countries with which the contracting parties
, nurturance, and cooperation through make-believe play (Berger & Thompson Thompson, city, Canada
Thompson, city (1991 pop. 14,977), central Man., Canada, on the Burntwood River. A mining town, it developed after large nickel deposits were discovered in the area in 1956.
, 1991). Also, they continue to develop cognitive skills cognitive skill Psychology Any of a number of acquired skills that reflect an individual's ability to think; CSs include verbal and spatial abilities, and have a significant hereditary component  that are crucial to positive social interactions, such as negotiation, compromise, and dispute resolution (Berk, 1993). Connolly (1980) and Connolly and Doyle (1984) found that the social pretend play of preschoolers, one type of make-believe play, predicted scores on measures of social competence, popularity, and role-taking. Other studies have found that children who engage in more pretend play have greater conversational success, emotional understanding, creativity, and divergent di·ver·gent  
1. Drawing apart from a common point; diverging.

2. Departing from convention.

3. Differing from another: a divergent opinion.

 problem solving problem solving

Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error.
 and thinking (DeKroon, Kyte, & Johnson, 2002; Lloyd & Howe, 2003; Russ & Kaugers, 2001; Russ, Robins, & Christiano, 1999; Seja & Russ, 1999; Wyver & Spence n. 1. A place where provisions are kept; a buttery; a larder; a pantry.
In . . . his spence, or "pantry" were hung the carcasses of a sheep or ewe, and two cows lately slaughtered.
- Sir W. Scott.
, 1999).

While many studies report positive social skills and social cognition Social cognition is the study of how people process social information, especially its encoding, storage, retrieval, and application to social situations. Social cognition’s focus on information processing has many affinities with its sister discipline, cognitive psychology.  benefits of play, additional studies have reported that play promotes healthy emotional functioning in the child (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Singer (1973) and Singer and Singer (1985) contend that make-believe play has many psychosocial psychosocial /psy·cho·so·cial/ (si?ko-so´shul) pertaining to or involving both psychic and social aspects.

Involving aspects of both social and psychological behavior.
 benefits for children, and those who engage in more make-believe play are likely to have flexibility in new situations and they appear to be happier. A recent study by Galyer and Evans Ev·ans , Herbert McLean 1882-1971.

American anatomist who isolated four pituitary hormones and discovered vitamin E (1922).
 (2001) found that children who engaged in make-believe play daily had significantly higher ratings of emotional regulation than those who did not. In addition, those who played make-believe with their parents also were rated as having higher emotional regulation than those who did not.

Vygotsky (1966) asserts that children satisfy certain needs and incentives in play. This can be achieved through either solitary or social make-believe play. According to White (1958), individuals acquire personal satisfaction from feeling competent. The play of children is a way of being productive, and play is its own reward. Lloyd and Howe (2003) found a positive association between solitary-active play and divergent thinking Noun 1. divergent thinking - thinking that moves away in diverging directions so as to involve a variety of aspects and which sometimes lead to novel ideas and solutions; associated with creativity
out-of-the-box thinking
, and they concluded that some time spent in solitary play may have benefits previously questioned.

Play and Delay of Gratification

Vygotsky (1966) states, "Play continually con·tin·u·al  
1. Recurring regularly or frequently: the continual need to pay the mortgage.

 creates demands on the child to act against immediate impulse" (p. 548). A constant conflict occurs during solitary and social play. He argues, for example, that the child must struggle with the choice of playing by the rules of the situation or acting spontaneously spontaneously Medtalk Without treatment  without regard for the context. In play, the child has no externally imposed rules. He can do whatever he wants. On the other hand, the child is under continuous demands to act against immediate impulse. During play, it seems that to follow the rules of the role or game gives more pleasure to the child than acting on impulse. Thus, the child delays gratification. It is in the act of play that the child delays, regardless of whether the play is social or solitary.

Many authors have linked make-believe play with the ability of preschool and early school-age children to delay gratification (Franklin, 1975; Meichenbaum & Goodman, 1971; Mischel & Baker, 1975; Singer, 1955, 1961). Research has shown that children who were reported as engaging in more make-believe play at home and having more imaginary companions were also more likely to tolerate tol·er·ate
1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.

2. To put up with; endure.

3. To have tolerance for a substance or pathogen.
 longer waiting times and to delay gratification longer (Riess, 1957; Singer, 1961). Saltz et al. (1977) showed that adults could help increase children's self-delaying behavior by training them in sociodramatic play or fantasy play.

The relationship between make-believe play and delay of gratification is examined in this study by exploring the preschoolers' make-believe play information in several broader contexts to create a more complete view of the child's play child's play
1. Something very easy to do.

2. A trivial matter.

child's play

Informal something that is easy to do

Noun 1.
 as a whole. Data were gathered through reports from their mothers, teachers, and themselves through interviews, questionnaires, and naturalistic preschool classroom observations, and by assessing delay of gratification in an experimental situation (Mischel et al., 1988). The following criteria are used to define delay of gratification: children must voluntarily postpone post·pone  
tr.v. post·poned, post·pon·ing, post·pones
1. To delay until a future time; put off. See Synonyms at defer1.

2. To place after in importance; subordinate.
 immediate gratification, persist in Verb 1. persist in - do something repeatedly and showing no intention to stop; "We continued our research into the cause of the illness"; "The landlord persists in asking us to move"
 goal-directed behavior, and wait for the more desirable outcome in lieu of Instead of; in place of; in substitution of. It does not mean in addition to.  the less desirable outcome that is immediately available (Karniol & Miller, 1981; Mischel & Mischel, 1983; Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriguez, 1989). For example, Lucia continues playing "sister" in the playhouse with Maria, with the expectation that later she will have a turn as "mother." Specifically, this study addressed a multi-situational view of the time preschoolers spent in make-believe play, either social or solitary, at home and at school, and the length of time the preschooler pre·school·er  
1. A child who is not old enough to attend kindergarten.

2. A child who is enrolled in a preschool.

Noun 1.
 was able to delay gratification.



The participants were 39 three- to five-year-old typically developing preschoolers (23 boys and 16 girls) who had not attended kindergarten kindergarten [Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be . The children were enrolled in 10 classrooms located in six child care programs in the midwestern United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . Participants ranged in age from 3 years, 10 months to 5 years, 7 months (M = 4.7; SD = 0.6). Four children from each classroom were chosen to participate in the study, as identified below. One of the 10 participating classrooms had only three children whose parents provided informed consent to participate in the study (n = 39).

The sample of children was 80 percent non-Hispanic Caucasian Caucasian or Caucasoid: see race. , eight percent African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. , eight percent Chinese, and five percent Hispanic Hispanic Multiculture A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race Social medicine Any of 17 major Latino subcultures, concentrated in California, Texas, Chicago, Miam, NY, and elsewhere . Most children (79.5 percent) were from two-parent households. The mean years of education completed by mothers were 16.46 years; all of the mothers had minimally completed high school.

Participant recruitment (Phase 1) included parent/child recruitment, teacher ratings for each child who had completed consent to participate, final selection of participants in the study based on teacher ratings and, lastly, videotaped observations in the classroom of those eligible participants. Letters requesting mother and child participation were sent home through the child care programs to families with an eligible child (3.9-5.3 years old and typically developing). More than 100 parents were contacted by letter to be involved in the study. Due to the confidentiality practices of one of the centers involved, the exact number of parents contacted is unknown. One hundred consent forms were returned (range = 43 - 100 percent), with an average approval rate from all centers of M = 79 percent (range = 50 - 100 percent).

Measures and Procedures

Teacher Questionnaire. For each of the 100 children whose parents had given modified Human Subjects consent, the respective teacher completed the five-item Teacher Questionnaire, which pertained to the child's play behavior in her preschool classroom. The questionnaire included both fixed-choice questions, such as "describe the child as a non-player, seldom player, regular player, or a constant player," and open-ended questions A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple "yes/no" dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a , such as "describe the child's favorite activities." The completed teacher questionnaires were collected and used by the authors to select the participants for the remaining portion of phase 1 and phase 2 of the study.

Selection of Children. The completed Teacher Questionnaires provided information on each child, such as the amount of play each child exhibited (i.e., never, seldom, often, constantly), and the percentage of the child's classroom self-selection Self-selection

Consequence of a contract that induces only one group to participate.
 time that was spent in make-believe. Only 17 percent of eligible children (n = 13) were considered low players. Children in each classroom were divided into high- and low-player groups. The teacher rating (i.e., never, seldom, often, or constantly) and percentage of time spent in make-believe play were considered when each child's play behavior was categorized cat·e·go·rize  
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.

 as either low or high. In general, high players were those children who were assessed by their teacher as playing make-believe "often" or "constantly" and low players were those children who were assessed by their teacher as playing "seldom." No children were rated as "non-players." From these groupings, four children from each classroom (two high-playing children and two low-playing children) were randomly selected to participate in the remainder of the study. An attempt was made to balance by child gender.

Play Behavior in Natural Setting. Children were videotaped in their preschool classroom during the morning child-initiated play period on two consecutive days. Prior to beginning videotaping, a video technician See PC technician and software technician.  spent time in the classroom, becoming familiar with the children, teacher, classroom, and program. The technician operated the video camera in the classroom across the room from each target child to decrease potential awareness. The video camera often was positioned so that the technician would appear to be focused on other classroom happenings to help decrease the children's awareness of the videotaping. Naturalistic recording of conversations was obtained through a microphone microphone, device for converting sound into electrical energy, used in radio broadcasting, recording, and sound amplifying systems. Its basic component is a diaphragm that responds to the pressure or particle velocity of sound waves.  positioned on the camera. Observations were videotaped both days during the entire morning self-selection time, with the camera recording each child for 10 minutes each day (i.e., a total of 20 minutes for each child across two days). The four children in each classroom were videotaped in a random order on both days.

A recording form was created to categorize cat·e·go·rize  
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.

 the type of play in which the child was engaged (i.e., constructive, exploratory, functional, make-believe, nonplay/none of the above). The play behavior categories were adapted from Rubin's Pretend Observation Scale (Rubin, 1986; Rubin & Mills, 1988) to determine the percentage of the child's self-selection play time that was spent in make-believe play. Observed classroom make-believe play (Classroom Observation) was conducted on two consecutive days. Scores for each day were summed to create one score of Classroom Observation.

Mother Interview. The questions for mothers pertained to their child's make-believe play at home only, and included Likert-type questions, such as, "On a typical day, how much time does your child spend playing make-believe?," and open-ended questions, such as, "What kinds of make-believe play are your child's favorite activities?"

Most mothers (97 percent) were interviewed by telephone, or they completed the Mother Interview while their child participated in Phase 2 of the study--the Delay of Gratification Experimental Situation. The particular reward for the delay of gratification experimental situation for each child was determined by mother report on the Mother Interview during the telephone call prior to the experiment or was reported by phone while scheduling an appointment time for the child's experimental situation.

Delay of Gratification Experimental Situation (DOGES). Delay of gratification was measured by the number of seconds between the time the contingency contingency n. an event that might not occur.  was presented to the child and the time the child rang the bell, as in the Mischel studies (Mischel, 1974; Mischel, Ebbesen, & Zeiss, 1972). For the current study, the selection of the reward was made prior to the assessment by talking with the child's mother. The mother was asked what kind of food item or treat was the child's favorite. Rewards varied by child and included such items as chocolate candies, lollipops, raisins, popsicles, and pieces of cantaloupe cantaloupe: see gourd; melon. .

The researcher met the parent and child at the arranged time and escorted the child to a research room while the parent waited outside (Phase 2). Most mothers completed the Mother Interview at this time. A few mothers completed the interview by telephone. Once the child and the researcher were in the research room, they mutually played with several toy cars before the child was told that he could play with the cars again later. The researcher showed the child the rewards and asked which food he or she preferred. The researcher then presented the child with the following contingency:

Researcher: Which would you rather have? One chocolate, or two chocolates? (pointing to the one chocolate and then the two chocolates)

Child: Two.

Researcher: I have to go out of the room for a while. If you wait until I come back by myself, then you can have this one (pointing to the preferred food item). If you don't want to wait, you can ring the bell and bring me back any time you want to. But if you ring the bell, then you can't have that one (pointing to the preferred item), but you can have that one (pointing to the less-preferred food item).

The researcher questioned the child to make sure he or she understood the contingency and then left the research room. She returned when the child either rang the bell or when 15 minutes had passed. The waiting time before ringing the bell or entering the room was measured in seconds and recorded. The entire DOGES was videotaped.

Child Interview. When the DOGES was completed, the researcher asked the child eight questions about his/her play at home and at school. Questions were similar to those asked of the parents and mothers about each child's play behavior. This researcher-created interview protocol asked each child general open-ended and Likert-type questions about his or her play. The questions included both general play questions, such as, "What is your favorite thing to play?," and more specific questions, such as, "Most of the time at school, do you play alone, with peers/friends, or with adults?" Several questions pertained specifically to their make-believe play, such as, "Do you play pretend a lot, sometimes, or not very much?" Preschool children previously have been shown to be reliable reporters of similar types of rating scales (Asher, Singleton sin·gle·ton
An offspring born alone.

singleton Medtalk One baby. Cf Triplet, Twin.
, Tinsley, & Hymel, 1979). At the completion of the interview, the child received a picture book in appreciation for participation in the study.


Establishing Interrater Reliability. Interrater reliability for coding of classroom play behaviors was established with pilot study videos in separate codings recorded by the researcher and a child development graduate student. A coding manual and videotapes from the pilot study were used to train the coders on the research procedures to establish interrater reliability. Interrater reliability using percent agreement was sought for child's type of play. The coders simultaneously and independently coded observations, with behaviors scored every 30 seconds for the 10-minute recording (20 observations of 30 seconds = 600 seconds, or 10 minutes). The 30-second interval was coded based on the majority of the seconds in the interval (e.g., 17 seconds in constructive and 13 seconds in make-believe was coded as constructive). Discrepancies in coding were discussed and mutually agreed upon Adj. 1. agreed upon - constituted or contracted by stipulation or agreement; "stipulatory obligations"

noncontroversial, uncontroversial - not likely to arouse controversy
 only during the training phase. Each videotape videotape

Magnetic tape used to record visual images and sound, or the recording itself. There are two types of videotape recorders, the transverse (or quad) and the helical.
 was viewed by both coders, who attained at·tain  
v. at·tained, at·tain·ing, at·tains
1. To gain as an objective; achieve: attain a diploma by hard work.

 an interrater reliability level of .88 prior to beginning the coding for the study.

Interrater Reliability of Videotapes. The coding of the children's play behaviors for this study was completed by coding the behaviors of six randomly selected children to observe from Day One and another six randomly selected children from Day Two. A total of 12 observations were coded to determine the interrater reliability. The coders simultaneously and independently coded these observations on the coding form by scoring behaviors every 30 seconds for the 10-minute recording (20 observations for 30 seconds = 600 seconds, or 10 minutes). The rate of interrater agreement for the child's type of play was .94.


Play at Home, Play at Preschool, and All Play (Home and Preschool Combined) Variables within measures were analyzed an·a·lyze  
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.

2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.

 individually and as indexes, specifically, Play at Home, Play at Preschool, and All Play. Play at Home is a composite of each child's make-believe play at home, as reported by each child during an interview following the delay of gratification experiment and by each mother during her interview. Play at Preschool is a composite of make-believe play at school, as reported independently by the child, by each child's teacher, and by the classroom observations as videotaped. All Play is the composite score of both Play at Home and Play at Preschool. Standardized standardized

pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.

standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.

standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate.
 scores were created for all variables so that items scored as percentages and those scored as Likert-type items could be combined. Each variable was summed to create the Play at Home and Play at Preschool Indexes, which in turn were summed to create the All Play Index.

Delay of Gratification

Delay of Gratification scores were reported in number of seconds. Each experimental situation was videotaped, and the number of seconds was recorded from the time the contingency was stated until either the child rang the bell or 15 minutes had passed. Two of the 39 children did not complete the DOGES, so the results for 37 children were available for these analyses. Twenty-six (70 percent) of the children delayed gratification for the entire 15-minute (900 seconds) experimental situation. The remaining 11 children (30 percent) delayed gratification from 4-780 seconds (M = 774).

Play at Home and Delay of Gratification Pearson product-moment correlations revealed a significant relationship between child's make-believe play at home (Play at Home) as reported by the mother and child combined, and Delay of Gratification (r = .33, p = .047) (see Table 1). Play at Home consisted of the percentage of time spent in make-believe play at home as reported by the mother (Parent Percent, M = 50.63, SD = 24.37), amount of make-believe play at home as reported by the mother (Parent Play, M = 3.71, SD = .58), and amount of make-believe play at home as reported by the child (Child Interview on Home Play, M = 2.04, SD = .93). Three cases of missing data for the Child Interview were scored using the Child Interview on Home Play mean (M = 2.22). Child Interview on Home Play was significantly correlated cor·re·late  
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.

 with delay of gratification (r = .33, p = .05). No significant relationships were found between delay of gratification and the remaining variables of Parent Percent (r = .16, p = .34) and Parent Play (r = .23, p = .17).

Play at Preschool and Delay of Gratification

Pearson product-moment correlations revealed no significant relationships between child's make-believe play at preschool (Play at Preschool) and Delay of Gratification (r = .26, p = .118). The variables used to create the Play at Preschool index were percent of time spent in make-believe play at school as reported by the teacher (Teacher Percent, M = 48.85, SD = 22.45), amount of make-believe play at school as reported by the teacher (Teacher Play, M = 3.14, SD = .80), amount of make-believe play at school as reported by the child (Child Interview on Preschool Play, M = 2.04, SD = .93), and Classroom Observations (M = 54.64, SD = 29.33). No significant relationships were found between Delay of Gratification and Teacher Percent Play (r = .22, p =. 18), Classroom Observations (r =. 11, p = .54), or Child Interview on Preschool Play (r = -.07, p = .69). Teacher Play (r = .39, p = .08) alone approached statistical significance. These analyses are based on 39 children, with data adjusted for missing classroom observations. Two children were absent during one of the two days of classroom observations. Missing data values for classroom observation were entered as their reported score for the day observed; the two missing Child Interviews on Preschool Play were replaced with group mean scores for that variable (M = 1.74). Mean replacement was used in this situation to resolve the missing data, as is commonly done in instances of item non-response when the data are missing at random for a small number of cases. Two children who did not complete the delay of gratification experiment were omitted from the correlation analysis since the delay of gratification scores were considered to be structurally missing data and no meaningful substitution Substitution

put her own son in place of Orestes; her son was killed and Orestes was saved. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 32]


robber freed in Christ’s stead. [N.T.: Matthew 27:15–18; Swed. Lit.
 was possible.

All Play and Delay of Gratification

The child's Delay of Gratification and composite All Play (Play at Home + Play at Preschool), or time spent in make-believe play, were significantly correlated (r = .37, p = .025) (see Table 1). Those children who spent more time in make-believe play, as reported from all sources, also delayed gratification longer.

The variables examined in separate one-way analyses of variance or bivariate bi·var·i·ate  
Mathematics Having two variables: bivariate binomial distribution.

Adj. 1.
 regressions were age (Age, M = 55.19 months), sex of child (girls, M = 872.27; boys, M = 707.05), family structure (one-parent household, M = 731.38; two-parent household, M = 785.79), ethnicity (Caucasian, M = 765.13; Chinese, M = 900; Hispanic, M = 660; African American, M = 900), mother education (high school, M = 676; other/technical school, M = 900; AA, M = 574.5; BS/ BA, M = 710.6; MS/MA, M = 836.78; PhD, M = 900), child-care center attended (Center 1, M = 701.38; Center 2, M = 843.38; Center 3, M = 715.25; Center 4, M = 832.71; Center 5, M = 900; Center 6, M = 565), total make-believe play of child (All Play, M = -.17), and the interaction of Sex and All Play. As expected, the effect of make-believe play (All Play) was the only variable that was a statistically significant predictor of Delay of Gratification (F (1, 38) = 4.58, p = .04, Observed Power = .54) (see Table 2).

A logistic regression In statistics, logistic regression is a regression model for binomially distributed response/dependent variables. It is useful for modeling the probability of an event occurring as a function of other factors.  was run to test further for the possible direct effect of Sex and All Play and the interaction effect of Sex and All Play on Delay of Gratification. Delay of Gratification was coded as either not completing the DOGES (<900 seconds) or completing the DOGES (900 seconds). This analysis yielded a model that correctly predicted 67.57 percent of the time whether a child would complete the task or fail to complete the task. Sex (p = .86) and the interaction of Sex and All Play (p = .86) remained nonsignificant non·sig·nif·i·cant  
1. Not significant.

2. Having, producing, or being a value obtained from a statistical test that lies within the limits for being of random occurrence.
 in this analysis also.

Solitary Play Versus Social Play and Delay of Gratification

To assess whether Play Partners had an effect on Delay of Gratification, a one-way analysis of variance was estimated for the eight solitary play variables (i.e., teacher report of time spent in solitary make-believe play, parent report of time spent in solitary make-believe play, parent report of percentage of time spent in solitary make-believe play, observed solitary make-believe play on day one, observed solitary make-believe play on day two, child report of solitary make-believe play at home, and child report of solitary make-believe play at school). None of the Solitary Make-Believe Play variables were related to Delay of Gratification (F = .91, p = .51, Observed Power = .31) (see Table 3).


This study explored the relationship between children's delay of gratification and time spent in make-believe play, based on Vygotsky's (1966) argument that "play continually creates demands on the child to act against immediate impulse" (p. 548). A constant conflict occurs during make-believe play, whether playing with others in sociodramatic play or alone in solitary make-believe play. For example, in sociodramatic play, the child resists the desire to be the "mom (1) (Messaging-Oriented Middleware) See messaging middleware.

(2) (Microsoft Operations Manager) Software that monitors and captures system and application events throughout the network.
" in order to play house with her friend who also wants to be the "morn." In solitary play, a boy who is pretending to be "dad" does not throw the clothes on the floor as he would like; instead he acts like "dad," who hangs them up on a hanger. In both cases, the child must struggle with the choice of playing by the rules of the situation or doing what he or she would do when acting spontaneously (Vygotsky). This study offers support for Vygotsky's theory and the importance of make-believe play for preschoolers.

Delay of Gratification

Procedures used in this study to assess delay of gratification were used previously in several studies (Hom & Fabes, 1984; Hom & Knight, 1996; Karniol & Miller, 1981; Mischel & Ebbesen, 1970; Mischel et al., 1989; Shoda et al., 1990). The test, commonly referred to as "The Marshmallow Test marshmallow test Psychology A test of impulse control, in which a young child is given a marshmallow by an examiner, and promised a 2nd one, if he doesn't eat the first marshmallow until the examiner returns–in a period of 15 minutes; ±15% " (Goleman, 1995), was used for the current study and showed longer delay times than expected. Shoda et al. (1990) reported a mean delay time of 512.8 seconds, of 900 possible seconds, with SD = 368.7 seconds for children in the same age range as the current study. Unexpectedly, much longer delay times (M = 774 seconds, SD = 236.5) are reported here, where more than two-thirds of the children were able to delay gratification for the entire duration of the 15-minute experiment (900 seconds). Our sample of children were considered typically functioning children and completion of the entire situation was expected unless there was a cognitive or social problem, which only occurs in a small percentage of preschool children. It was therefore assumed that a relatively small portion of the children in the current study would delay gratification for less than the entire duration of the experiment. Children who delayed gratification for shorter periods of time in the Shoda et al. (1990) study were linked to lower cognitive and social outcomes as adolescents than those who delayed longer.

It is interesting to note the various strategies the children used during the delay task. Some children played with the available toys in the experimental room, some made faces in the observation room mirror, while others danced, moved the furniture around, repeated the contingency out loud to themselves ("You can have this one, but if you wait you can have that one"), looked at the reward, covered the reward; others sat in one spot without much movement or activity. Although this study did not examine the child's strategies or thoughts during the experimental delay situation, Mischel and Mischel (1983) did examine these. They found that by age 5, children begin to understand basic rules about self-control self-control
Control of one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will.
, such as covering the reward rather than exposing it and engaging in task-oriented behavior instead of letting thoughts or actions about the reward consume them. The children in the present study exhibited similar behaviors.

Make-Believe Play Index and Delay of Gratification

Children in this study who engaged more often in make-believe play were able to delay gratification longer (r = .37, p = .025) (see Table 1). This finding supports portions of previous work by Riess (1957) and Singer (1961) indicating that children who engage in more make-believe play at home and have more imaginary companions were more likely to tolerate long waits and longer delay of gratification. Saltz et al. (1977) showed that adults could help increase children's self-delaying behavior by training them in fantasy play. The findings of the current study strongly support Vygotsky's (1966) idea that "play continually creates demands on the child to act against immediate impulse" (p. 548). Continual internal conflicts occur during play. The child must struggle with the choice of playing by the rules of the situation or doing what he or she would do if he or she could act spontaneously (Vygotsky). This idea then translates not only to make-believe play with peers but also to make-believe play alone.

The current study analyzed delay of gratification in relation to play alone as well as with others. The finding that whether the make-believe play was alone or with others did not make a significant difference in delay of gratification is of utmost importance because of the misconception mis·con·cep·tion  
A mistaken thought, idea, or notion; a misunderstanding: had many misconceptions about the new tax program.
 that the benefits of make-believe play are due to the aspects of social engagement. While there are several known benefits from the social aspects of make-believe play (Connolly, 1980; Connolly & Doyle, 1984; DeKroon et al., 2002; Pellegrini, Blatchford, Kato, & Baines, 2004), this study supports the idea that it is the actual engagement in make-believe itself that is important, not whether it is solitary or social.

Vygotsky (1966) states that the child must struggle with the choice of playing by the rules of the situation or doing what he would do if he could act spontaneously, translating not only to make-believe play with peers but to make-believe play alone. It is the rules of the role that offer experience in delaying gratification, such as what "Mommy" would do or what a "firefighter" would do, as opposed to delaying gratification with another child to have "a turn" or play "house" when the other wants to play "restaurant." While the current study supports Vygotsky's (1966) theory, it does contradict con·tra·dict  
v. con·tra·dict·ed, con·tra·dict·ing, con·tra·dicts
1. To assert or express the opposite of (a statement).

2. To deny the statement of. See Synonyms at deny.
 previous results (e.g., Elias & Berk, 2002) showing that children who engaged in more solitary make-believe play improved less over time in self-regulation. This apparent difference might be due to the differing operational definitions of key variables addressed in the two studies. Elias and Berk assessed self-regulation as taking responsibility and assisting others at clean-up time and attentiveness at·ten·tive  
1. Giving care or attention; watchful: attentive to detail.

2. Marked by or offering devoted and assiduous attention to the pleasure or comfort of others.
 during circle time. This differs greatly from the definition of delay of gratification in the current study, in which children voluntarily must postpone immediate gratification, persist in goal-directed behavior, and wait for the more desirable outcome in lieu of the less desirable outcome that is immediately available to them.

Family Structure, Mother Education, and Child Care Center

The present study examined the three variables of Family Structure, Mother Education, and Child Care Center, which had not been previously reported in relation to delay of gratification. No significant differences were found for these variables. The majority of mothers in this sample had completed education beyond high school; the decreased variance in education for this sample may have contributed to this null A character that is all 0 bits. Also written as "NUL," it is the first character in the ASCII and EBCDIC data codes. In hex, it displays and prints as 00; in decimal, it may appear as a single zero in a chart of codes, but displays and prints as a blank space.  finding. It is suggested that mothers with varying education levels be considered for further studies.

Sex, Ethnicity, and Age

In addition to these new variables, we investigated three variables reported in previous studies. Previous findings on delay of gratification showed no significant differences for sex of child (Atwood, Ruebush, & Everett, 1978; Axtell, 1995). Play and sex of child were investigated in this study, as past studies have found sex to be related to some components of play (Hartup, 1983; Serbin, Tonick, & Sternglanz, 1977). Sex differences have not been consistently reported for the amount of make-believe play (Rubin, 1977). Consistent with past findings, neither sex nor the interaction of sex and play had a significant effect on delay of gratification in the current study. Nonconclusive (Banks, McQuater, Anthony, & Ward, 1992) and/or no significant relations (Banks et al., 1992; Gonzalez, 1989) between ethnicity and delay of gratification have been reported previously. The findings of this study support the previous findings of no significant relationship. Delay of gratification of preschool-age children shows no differences for the 3- to 5-year age group (Axtell, 1995). Mischel, Shoda, and Peake (1988) suggested that children below the age of 3 are not yet able to delay gratification and children over 5 typically have been taught strategies to delay. It is this period between 3-5 years that offers a view into the child's individual delay of gratification. This study provides support to the previously cited studies in which no significant relationship was found between Delay of Gratification and Age, Sex, or Ethnicity. It is important to note that this study found that All Play was the only variable that was statistically significant (F (1, 38) = 4.58, p = .04) (see Table 2).

Time Spent in Play and Delay of Gratification

Play at Home and Delay of Gratification. Play at Home was significantly related to Delay of Gratification (r = .33, p < .05) (see Table 1). This finding supports earlier studies by Riess (1957) and Singer (1961), who reported that children who engage in more make-believe play at home and have more imaginary companions also were more likely to tolerate long waits and demonstrate longer delay of gratification. During an interview (r = .33, p = < .05) following the DOGES, each child reported the amount of time (i.e., how much) they play make-believe at home (i.e., 1 = not very much, 2 = sometimes, or 3 = a lot) (M = 2.04, SD = .93) and their favorite home play activities. The children commonly referred to their make-believe play at home with particular toys, such as Barbie Barbie
 in full Barbara Millicent Roberts

A plastic doll, 11.5 in. (29 cm) tall, with the figure of an adult woman that was introduced in 1959 by Mattel, Inc., a southern California toy company.
 and cars, and make-believe play such as playing horses, farm, and superheroes Superheroes are fictional heroes who possess abilities beyond those of normal human beings.

Superheroes may also refer to:
  • Superheroes (band), a Danish pop/rock band
  • Superheroes (album), by American heavy metal band Racer X
  • Superheroes
. Electronic activities, such as computer, video games See video game console. , and television were mentioned often. Cards and board games This is a list of board games. This page classifies board games according to the concerns which might be uppermost for someone organizing a gaming event or party. See the article on game classification for other alternatives, or see for a list of board game articles.  were noted less often.

Each mother reported the time her child spent in make-believe play at home using a 5-point scale (i.e., never, seldom, sometimes, regularly, or constantly), and an estimated percentage of time the child chooses to play make-believe at home when play time is available. On average, children were rated as regular players and spent half of their time in make-believe play. Mothers reported several kinds of favorite make-believe play. Most often, children were role-playing role-play·ing
A psychotherapeutic technique, designed to reduce the conflict inherent in various social situations, in which participants act out particular behavioral roles in order to expand their awareness of differing points of view.
 as such characters as princess, farmer, literary figures, dinosaurs <onlyinclude> This list of dinosaurs is a comprehensive listing of all genera that have ever been included in the superorder Dinosauria, excluding class Aves (birds, both living and those known only from fossils) and purely vernacular terms. , mom, dad, teacher, superhero su·per·he·ro  
n. pl. su·per·he·roes
A figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime.
, or they were interacting with imaginary others. One parent stated, "She has four imaginary friends Imaginary Friend may refer to:
  • Imaginary friend, an invented person, animal or character
  • Imaginary Friend (band), a Finnish indie-pop group formed in 2004
  • "Imaginary Friend" (TNG episode), a fifth-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation
. One (Boom Boom) has been around a long time and almost daily ... recently we've had a lot of Bad Wolf
This article is about the Doctor Who episode. For the folk tale character, see Big Bad Wolf. For a listing of various mentions of the phrase in the 2005 series of Doctor Who, see Story arcs in Doctor Who.
For the New York City-based band, see Sightings (band)

Sightings was a paranormal-themed television program that was first broadcast as an hour special entitled "UFO Report: Sightings" in October 1991.
." Pretend play with action figures and toy vehicles also was mentioned often.

School Play and Delay of Gratification. Play at Preschool was not significantly related to delay of gratification (r = .26, p = * 12). Child Interview on Preschool Play (as reported during the Child Interview) was not significantly related to delay of gratification (r = -.07, p = .69). Children reported playing with a wider variety of activities, such as books, art projects, and snacks, at school than at home. The most often reported toys and activities were blocks, computers, and playing with friends. The relationship of school play and delay of gratification has not been reported previously.

Teacher's report of percentage of time spent in make-believe play was not significantly related to delay of gratification (r = .22, p = .18). Teacher's report of play was marginally related to delay of gratification (r = .29, p = .08). Teachers tended to provide more global written details about make-believe play for each child than did the parents. Teachers limited their comments about the favorite make-believe activities of the children to dramatic play, pretending, and building.

The percentage of time children spent in make-believe play during the 10-minute observations on two consecutive days was reported (M = 54.64 percent, SD = 29.33 percent) but did not reach statistical significance in relation to Delay of Gratification (r = .11, p = .54). The naturalistic classroom observations provided more detail about the make-believe play occurring in the classrooms than that provided only by the teacher reports. Most child care classrooms had more than one dramatic play area. These areas usually included a housekeeping A set of instructions that are executed at the beginning of a program. It sets all counters and flags to their starting values and generally readies the program for execution.  area with household items and another dramatic play area with a dollhouse, train set, or theme-based manipulatives, such as Farm Legos or Circus Duplos. It was evident from the observations that the preschool classrooms were providing opportunities for make-believe play.

Perhaps the lack of a significant relationship between Play at Preschool and Delay of Gratification is due to the greater variety of activities and playmates available at preschool. Materials and activities, in addition to make-believe play during self-selection time, were abundant in the participating classrooms. The number of appealing and available activities, coupled with the length of time provided to select play activities (typically 45 minutes for one time period), may have led to less involvement in the make-believe play situations. Also, these teachers were more likely to be involved in art activities rather than make-believe play during self-selection times. The teachers' presence may have drawn more children to the non-make-believe play activities.

Finally, since the study found a strong relationship, based on correlation and multiple regression Multiple regression

The estimated relationship between a dependent variable and more than one explanatory variable.
 analyses, between delay of gratification and make-believe play at home, more investigations regarding the home are warranted. Using these findings, additional variables about play in the home, such as parental beliefs about make-believe play, actual play activities, and the home environment, should be explored.


Children's make-believe play at home was significantly related to the child's ability to delay gratification. Thus, it is apparent that the home is a crucial environment in which preschoolers can develop competencies that help them delay gratification, although the context of the parent-child relationship at home and parent beliefs about make-believe play were not investigated here. Previous research has shown that parental knowledge (Hom & Knight, 1996) and parental discipline style (Mauro & Harris, 2000; Weller & Berkowitz, 1975) contribute to the child's ability to delay gratification. A non-coercive parenting style (giving the child opportunities to delay gratification without imposing the delay on them), showing the child through modeling appropriate ways to delay gratification, and being both responsive to children's needs and applying boundaries and expectations are all considered to help lay a foundation for children's ability to delay gratification (Hom & Knight, 1996; Mauro & Harris, 2000; Weller & Berkowitz, 1975). Now, parental facilitation Facilitation

The process of providing a market for a security. Normally, this refers to bids and offers made for large blocks of securities, such as those traded by institutions.
 of make-believe play is also considered a way to help lay that foundation.

Shoda et al. (1990) found that preschoolers who were able to delay gratification during the preschool years were rated as more competent academically, socially, and verbally, and were seen as rational, attentive at·ten·tive  
1. Giving care or attention; watchful: attentive to detail.

2. Marked by or offering devoted and assiduous attention to the pleasure or comfort of others.
, more planful, and better able to deal with stress and frustrations as adolescents. Delay of gratification also is considered a component of emotional intelligence. It is one of the eight specific abilities that together define emotional intelligence (self-motivation, impulse control, delay of gratification, empathy empathy

Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing.
, hope, regulation of mood, preventing distress from overwhelming one's thinking, and persistence (1) In a CRT, the time a phosphor dot remains illuminated after being energized. Long-persistence phosphors reduce flicker, but generate ghost-like images that linger on screen for a fraction of a second.  when confronted with frustrations) (Goleman, 1995). Goleman states that being emotionally intelligent gives a person advantages in all aspects of life. He also asserts that parenting practices help the child develop the basic emotional competencies that can help a child deal effectively with life.

Based on the findings of this study, which show a strong relationship between delay of gratification and time spent in make-believe play at home, parents are encouraged to promote and facilitate an increase in time spent in make-believe play at home. Although school make-believe play alone did not show a significant relationship to delay of gratification, it did contribute to the overall make-believe play of each child. Therefore, make-believe play should not be neglected in the classroom and teachers can help parents increase make-believe play at home. It is suggested that teachers create dramatic play centers in the classroom and outdoors that are more attractive, offer a wide variety of dramatic play themes, provide more time to engage in free-choice free-choice

the animals are free to eat as much as they like of two or more feeds which are available.
 activities, and promote make-believe play through teacher presence to extend the themes and roles. In addition, offering parent workshops that explore the importance of make-believe play in the home and ideas for enhancing additional make-believe themes, sending home information newsletters about make-believe play, and creating themed backpacks and/or suitcases for family checkout can encourage make-believe in the home.
Table 1
Time Spent in Make-Believe Play and Delay of Gratification

                                    Play       Play at       All
                                   at Home    Preschool      Play

Play at Home                        1.00          .24        .72 **
Play at Preschool                    --          1.00        .85 **
All Play                             --           --        1.00
Teacher Play                         --           --          --
Teacher Percent Play                 --           --          --
Child Interview/ Preschool Play      --           --          --
Classroom Observation                --           --          --
Parent Play                          --           --          --
Parent Percent Play                  --           --          --
Child Interview Home Play            --           --          --
Delay Time (Seconds)                 --           --          --

                                   Teacher     Teacher      Child
                                    Play       Percent    Interview/
                                                 Play     Preschool

Play at Home                         .20         .18         .18
Play at Preschool                    .73 **      .72 **      .48 **
All Play                             .63 **      .61 **      .44 **
Teacher Play                        1.00         .72 **      .10
Teacher Percent Play                 --         1.00         .20
Child Interview/ Preschool Play      --           --        1.00
Classroom Observation                --           --          --
Parent Play                          --           --          --
Parent Percent Play                  --           --          --
Child Interview Home Play            --           --          --
Delay Time (Seconds)                 --           --          --

                                  Classroom     Parent      Parent
                                 Observation     Play      Percent

Play at Home                         .09          .31         .73 **
Play at Preschool                    .61 **       .40 *       .05
All Play                             .48 **       .46 **      .44 **
Teacher Play                         .16          .17         .03
Teacher Percent Play                 .08          .29         .01
Child Interview/ Preschool Play      .03          .41 *       .16
Classroom Observation               1.00          .08        -.004
Parent Play                          --          1.00         .31
Parent Percent Play                  --           --         1.00
Child Interview Home Play            --           --          --
Delay Time (Seconds)                 --           --          --

                                    Child       Delay
                                  Inerview/      Time
                                  Home Play   (Seconds)

Play at Home                         .72 **      .33 *
Play at Preschool                    .15         .26
All Play                             .50 **      .37 *
Teacher Play                         .19         .29
Teacher Percent Play                 .01         .22
Child Interview/ Preschool Play      .08         .07
Classroom Observation                .11         .11
Parent Play                          .03         .23
Parent Percent Play                  .28         .16
Child Interview Home Play           1.00         .33 *
Delay Time (Seconds)                 --         1.00

* p < .05 (2 tailed)

** p < .01 (2 tailed)

Table 2
One-way Analyses of Variance: Delay of Gratification and Age, Mother
Education, All Play, Center, Sex, Ethnicity, Family, Sex * All Play

Source                Type III             Df            Mean Square
                    Sum of Square

Corrected Model     1012035.50 (a)         14             72288.25
Intercept             53766.56              1             53766.56
Age                   43744.8               1             43744.80
Mother Education      31157.79              1             31157.79
All Play             208497.52              1            208497.52
Center               181977.28              5             36395.46
Sex                   96300.00              1             96300.00
Ethnicity            144085.89              3             48028.63
Family                79927.74              1             79927.74
Sex * All Play        14956.16              1             14956.16
Error               1001079.4              22             45503.61
Total              24180475.00             37
Corrected Total     2013115.00             36

Source                    F               Sig.               Eta

Corrected Model         1.59               .16               .50
Intercept               1.18               .29               .05
Age                      .96               .34               .04
Mother Education         .69               .42               .03
All Play                4.58               .04               .17
Center                   .80               .56               .15
Sex                     2.12               .16               .09
Ethnicity               1.06               .39               .13
Family                  1.76               .20               .07
Sex * All Play           .33               .57               .02

(a.) R Squared = .503 (Adjusted R Squared = .186)

Table 3
One-way Analyses of Variance: Delay of Gratification and Alone
at School (Teacher), Alone at Home (Parent), %Alone at Home
(Parent), Observed Alone Day 1, Observed Alone Day 2, Alone
at Home (Child), Alone at School (Child)

Source               Type III            Df           Mean Square
                  Sum of Squares

Corrected Model    399468.30 (a)          7             57066.90
Intercept          313828.43              1            313828.43
Alone at School    108213.62              1            108213.62
Alone at Home        9471.08              1              9471.08
%Alone at Home      22410.19              1             22410.19
Observed 1          10334.10              1             10334.10
  Alone Day
Observed 2           2779.01              1              2779.01
  Alone Day
Alone at Home        5458.81              1              5458.81
Alone at School      6191.51              1              6191.51
Error             1561537.60             25             62461.50
Total            21142075.00             33
Corrected Total   1961005.90             32

Source                   F               Sig.         Eta Squared

Corrected Model         .91               .51             .20
Intercept              5.02               .03             .17
Alone at School        1.73               .20             .07
Alone at Home           .15               .70             .01
%Alone at Home          .36               .55             .01
Observed 1              .17               .69             .01
  Alone Day
Observed 2              .04               .84             .00
  Alone Day
Alone at Home           .09               .77             .00
Alone at School         .10               .76             .00

(a.) R Squared = .204 (Adjusted R Squared = -.019)

This study was partially supported by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at Iowa State University Academics
ISU is best known for its degree programs in science, engineering, and agriculture. ISU is also home of the world's first electronic digital computing device, the Atanasoff–Berry Computer.
. We would like to thank the participants, the schools, the teachers, and staff for their help in this study's success. Much gratitude Gratitude

traditional symbol for gratitude. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 172]


because he had once extracted a thorn from its paw, the lion refrained from attacking Androcles in the arena. [Rom. Lit.
 goes out to Angie Curtis, Mike Merten, Angie Wilson, and Tsunghui Tu for their help in the data collection and coding process.


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Branch of psychology concerned with changes in cognitive, motivational, psychophysiological, and social functioning that occur throughout the human life span.
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A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.


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Connolly, J., & Doyle, A. (1984). Relation of social fantasy play to social competence in preschoolers. Developmental Psychology, 20(5), 797-806.

DeKroon, D. M. A., Kyte, C. S., & Johnson, C. J. (2002). Partner influences on the social pretend play of children with language impairments. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 33(4), 253-267.

Elias, C. L., & Berk, L. E. (2002). Self-regulation in young children: Is there a role for sociodramatic play? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 17(2), 216-238.

Franklin, D. (1975). Block play modeling and its relationship to imaginativeness, impulsivity, reflection, and internal-external control. Predissertation master's research, Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was .

Freud, A. (1965). The concept of developmental lines Developmental lines is a metaphor of Anna Freud from her developmental theory to stress the continuous and cumulative character of childhood development. It emphasises the interactions and interdependencies between maturational and environmental determinants in developmental steps. . In Normality normality, in chemistry: see concentration.  and pathology pathology, study of the cause of disease and the modifications in cellular function and changes in cellular structure produced in any cell, organ, or part of the body by disease.  in childhood assessment of development. New York: International University Press.

Freud, S. (1946). Formulations regarding the two principles in mental functioning. In Collected papers, 4 (pp. 13-21). London: Hogarth Press.

Funder, D. C., Block, J. H., & Block, J. (1983). Delay of gratification: Some longitudinal lon·gi·tu·di·nal
Running in the direction of the long axis of the body or any of its parts.
 personality correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (often referred to as JPSP) is a monthly psychology journal of the American Psychological Association. It is considered one of the top journals in the fields of social and personality psychology. , 44, 1198-1213.

Galyer, K. T., & Evans, I. M. (2001). Pretend play and the development of emotion regulation in preschool children. Early Child Development and Care, 166, 93-108.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Bantam

Former city and sultanate, Java. It was located at the western end of Java between the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean. In the early 16th century it became a powerful Muslim sultanate, which extended its control over parts of Sumatra and Borneo.

Gonzalez, A. (1989). Time orientation and delay of gratification as a function of social class in Mexican-American and Anglo adolescents. Dissertation Abstracts International, 50(4), 1639. (AAC 8916111).

Hartup, W. W. (1983). Peer relations. In M. Hetherington (Ed.), P. H. Mussen (Series Ed.), Handbook
For the handbook about Wikipedia, see .

This article is about reference works. For the subnotebook computer, see .
"Pocket reference" redirects here.
 of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization socialization /so·cial·iza·tion/ (so?shal-i-za´shun) the process by which society integrates the individual and the individual learns to behave in socially acceptable ways.

, personality, and social development (pp. 103-196). New York: Wiley.

Hom, H. L., & Fabes, R. A. (1984). The role of choice in children's ability to delay gratification. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 146(3), 429-430.

Hom, H. L., & Knight, H. (1996). Delay of gratification: Mothers' predictions about four attentional techniques. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 157(2), 180-190.

Karniol, R., & Miller, D. T. (1981). The development of self-control in children. In S. S. Brehm, S. M. Kassin, & F. X. Gibbons Famous people named Gibbons include:
  • Beth Gibbons (born 1965), British singer
  • Billy Gibbons, guitarist for ZZ Top
  • Cedric Gibbons (1893–1960), American art director
  • Christopher Gibbons (1615 - 1676), English composer, son of Orlando
 (Eds.), Developmental social psychology (pp. 32-50). New York: Oxford University Press.

Lloyd, B., & Howe, N. (2003). Solitary play and convergent and divergent thinking skills in preschool children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18(1), 22-41.

Mauro, C., & Harris, Y. (2000). The influence of maternal MATERNAL. That which belongs to, or comes from the mother: as, maternal authority, maternal relation, maternal estate, maternal line. Vide Line.  childrearing attitudes and teaching behaviors on preschoolers' delay of gratification. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 161, 292-306.

Meichenbaum, D., & Goodman, J. (1971). Training impulsive im·pul·sive
1. Inclined or tending to act on impulse rather than thought.

2. Motivated by or resulting from impulse.

 children to talk to themselves. Journal of Abnormal Psychology Journal of Abnormal Psychology is a scientific journal published by the American Psychological Association. It has previously been entitled Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology

, 77, 115-121.

Mischel, H. N., & Mischel, W. (1983). The development of children's knowledge of self-control strategies. Child Development, 54, 603-619.

Mischel, W. (1966). Theory and research on the antecedents of self-imposed delay of reward. In B. A. Maher (Ed.), Progress in experimental personality research, 3 (pp. 85-132). New York: Academic Press.

Mischel, W. (1974). Processes in delay of gratification. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 7, pp. 249-292). New York: Academic Press.

Mischel, W., & Baker, N. (1975). Cognitive transformation of reward objects through instructions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 254-261.

Mischel, W., & Ebbesen, E. B. (1970). Attention in delay of gratification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16, 329-337.

Mischel, W., Ebbesen, E. B., & Zeiss, A. R. (1972). Cognitive and attentional mechanisms in delay of gratification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 21, 204-218.

Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Peake, K. (1988). The nature of adolescent ad·o·les·cent
Of, relating to, or undergoing adolescence.

A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not reached full maturity; a teenager.
 competencies predicted by preschool delay of gratification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 687-696.

Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Rodriguez, M. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244, 933-938.

Pellegrini, A. D., Blatchford, P., Kato, K., & Baines, E. (2004). A short-term Short-term

Any investments with a maturity of one year or less.


1. Of or relating to a gain or loss on the value of an asset that has been held less than a specified period of time.
 longitudinal study longitudinal study

a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study.
 of children's background games in primary school: Implications for adjustment to school and social adjustment in the USA and the UK. Social Development, 13, 107-123.

Riess, A. (1957). A study of some genetic behavioral correlates of human movement responses in children's Rorschach Rorschach (rôr`shäkh), town (1990 pop. 9,535), St. Gall canton, NE Switzerland, on Lake Constance. A prosperous commercial town in the Middle Ages, Rorschach is a resort and the largest Swiss port on the lake.  protocols. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, New York University New York University, mainly in New York City; coeducational; chartered 1831, opened 1832 as the Univ. of the City of New York, renamed 1896. It comprises 13 schools and colleges, maintaining 4 main centers (including the Medical Center) in the city, as well as the .

Rogers, C., & Sawyers, J. (1988). Play in the lives of children. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest nonprofit association in the United States representing early childhood education teachers, experts, and advocates in center-based and family day care. .

Rubin, K. H. (1977). The social and cognitive value of preschool toys and activities. Canadian Canadian (kənā`dēən), river, 906 mi (1,458 km) long, rising in NE New Mexico. and flowing E across N Texas and central Oklahoma into the Arkansas River in E Oklahoma.  Journal of Behavioral Science behavioral science
A scientific discipline, such as sociology, anthropology, or psychology, in which the actions and reactions of humans and animals are studied through observational and experimental methods.
, 9, 382-385.

Rubin, K. K. (1986). Socially withdrawn children: An "at risk" population. In B. H. Schneider, K. H. Rubin, & J. E. Ledingham (Eds.), Peer relations and social skills in childhood: Issues in assessment and training (pp. 125-139). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Rubin, K. H., Fein, G., & Vandenburg, B. (1983). Play. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Socialization, personality, and social development, 4 (pp. 693-774). New York: Wiley.

Rubin, K. H., & Mills, R. S. L. (1988). The many faces of social isolation in childhood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (JCCP) is a bimonthly psychology journal of the American Psychological Association. Its focus is on treatment and prevention in all areas of clinical and clinical-health psychology and especially on topics that appeal to a broad , 6, 916-924.

Russ, S. W., & Kaugars, A. S. (2001). Emotion in children's play and creative problem solving Creative problem solving is the mental process of creating a solution to a problem. It is a special form of problem solving in which the solution is independently created rather than learned with assistance. Creative problem solving requires more than just knowledge and thinking. . Creativity Research Journal, 13(2), 211-219.

Russ, S. W., Robins, A. L., & Christiano, B. A. (1999). Pretend play: Longitudinal prediction of creativity and affect in fantasy in children. Creativity Research Journal, 12(2), 129-140.

Saltz, E., Dixon, D., & Johnson, J. (1977). Training disadvantaged This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.

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 preschoolers on various fantasy activities: Effects on cognitive functioning cognitive function Neurology Any mental process that involves symbolic operations–eg, perception, memory, creation of imagery, and thinking; CFs encompasses awareness and capacity for judgment  and impulse control. Child Development, 46, 367-380.

Seja, A., & Russ, S. (1999). Children's fantasy play and emotional understanding. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28(2), 269-277.

Serbin, L. A., Tonick, I. J., & Sternglanz, S. H. (1977). Shaping cooperative cross-sex play. Child Development, 48, 924-929.

Shoda, Y., Mischel, W., & Peake, K. (1990). Predicting adolescent cognitive and self-regulatory competencies from preschool delay of gratification: Identifying diagnostic conditions. Developmental Psychology, 26, 978-986.

Singer, J. L. (1955). Delayed gratification and ego-development: Implications for clinical and experimental research. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 19, 259-266.

Singer, J. L. (1961). Imagination and waiting ability in young children. Journal of Personality, 29, 396-413.

Singer, J. L. (1973). The child's world of make-believe: Experimental studies of imaginative play. New York: Academic Press.

Singer, J. L., & Singer, D. G. (1985). Make-believe: Games and activities to foster imaginative play in young children. Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1966). Play and its role in the mental development of the child. Soviet Psychology, 12(6), 62-76.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. It was established on January 13, 1913. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. .

Walden, T. A., & Smith, M. C. (1997). Emotion regulation. Motivation and Emotion, 21, 7-25.

Weller, L., & Berkowitz, E. (1975). Parental discipline and delayed gratification. Social Behavior In biology, psychology and sociology social behavior is behavior directed towards, or taking place between, members of the same species. Behavior such as predation which involves members of different species is not social.  and Personality, 3(2), 229-232.

White, T. H. (1958). The once and future king. New York: Putnam.

Wyver, S. R., & Spence, S. H. (1999). Play and divergent problem solving: Evidence supporting a reciprocal Bilateral; two-sided; mutual; interchanged.

Reciprocal obligations are duties owed by one individual to another and vice versa. A reciprocal contract is one in which the parties enter into mutual agreements.
 relationship. Early Education and Development, 10(4), 419-444.

Joanna Joanna, in the Bible
Joanna, in the New Testament.

1 Wife of Herod's steward Chuza. She was a follower of Jesus and was one who found the tomb empty.

2 Ancestor of St. Joseph.
 J. Cemore

Southwest Missouri State University Missouri State University is a state university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is the state's second largest university in student enrollment, second only to the University of Missouri. From 1972 to 2005, Missouri State was known as Southwest Missouri State University.  

Joan E. Herwig

Iowa State University
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Author:Herwig, Joan E.
Publication:Journal of Research in Childhood Education
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
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