"Rough and Tumble" Play: Lessons in Life

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)
    419 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper focuses upon the developmental role of Rough and Tumble (R&T) play with particular attention to the narratives that children use to underpin such activities, and to gender differences within these. The empirical research focused upon the R&T play of children in the early years department of a suburban primary school in Northern England. The children's playtime activities were ethnographically observed over a period of eighteen calendar months, encompassing five school terms. The effects of evolution, biology and culture are recognized in the approach taken to the analysis of data. Findings indicated that the narratives underpinning R&T play were socially complex and highly gendered, and that mixed gender R&T play in particular could be theorized to mirror and simplify aspects of complex, gendered adult interaction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)268-284
    Number of pages17
    JournalEvolutionary Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


    • Rough and tumble play
    • Social development
    • Evolution
    • Culture
    • Gender


    Dive into the research topics of '"Rough and Tumble" Play: Lessons in Life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this