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Gray, Peter – American Journal of Play, 2011
Over the past half century, in the United States and other developed nations, children's free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and young adults. This article documents these historical changes…
Descriptors: Psychopathology, Adolescents, Depression (Psychology), Play
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Gray, Peter – American Journal of Play, 2011
From an evolutionary perspective, the normal social play of children involves kids of various ages. Our human and great-ape ancestors most likely lived in small groups with low birth rates, which made play with others of nearly the same age rare. Consequently, the evolutionary functions of children's social play are best understood by examining…
Descriptors: Play, Role Models, Mixed Age Grouping, Age Differences
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Gray, Peter – American Journal of Play, 2009
The author offers the thesis that hunter-gatherers promoted, through cultural means, the playful side of their human nature and this made possible their egalitarian, nonautocratic, intensely cooperative ways of living. Hunter-gatherer bands, with their fluid membership, are likened to social-play groups, which people could freely join or leave.…
Descriptors: Play, Cultural Influences, Child Development, Skill Development