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On ‘becoming social’: The importance of collaborative free play in childhood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Play
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2014
StatePublished - 2014
There is increasing concern about declining mental health amongst children in the UK and the USA. Evolutionary and anthropological theorists have begun to build a theory linking this situation to decreasing opportunities to engage in free play. This paper will explore typical contexts for children in these nations, concluding that a range of recently emerging environments have decreased opportunities for collaborative peer free play and ‘discovery’ activities for the current generation. We will draw the theoretical analysis from a broad area of research encompassing psychology, anthropology, education, sociology, marketing, and philosophy to offer a new blend of practical and theoretical perspectives that may shed further light upon this topic.

    Research areas

  • collaborative free play, evolution, children's well-being, discovery learning, education, human primate


  • Jarvis Newman Swiniarski On becoming social August 2013

    Rights statement: © 2014 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Play on 12/02/14, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript, 415 KB, PDF-document


Related faculties, schools or groups

External organisations

  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Salem State University

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