Play or hard work: Unpacking well-being at preschool

A. Kennedy-Behr*, S. Rodger, S. Mickan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Well-being or quality of life is thought to give a more accurate picture of the impact a condition has on day-to-day functioning than traditional outcome measures. This study sought to examine the relationship between engagement in play and well-being for preschool children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). A quasi-experimental design was used with two independent groups of preschool children aged 4-6 years with (n=32) and without (n=31) probable DCD. Play skills were assessed using the Play Observation Scale based on 30min of videotape of free-play at preschool. Well-being was assessed using a parent-proxy version of the Revised Children Quality of Life Questionnaire (KINDLR). Spearman rho correlations were performed to examine the relationship between play and well-being. Well-being at preschool was significantly lower for the children in the DCD group however overall well-being was not significantly different. Engagement in type of social play (solitary, parallel or group) was found to predict well-being for the typically developing children. For the children with DCD, engagement in group play was not associated with well-being. An explanation for this difference may be that children with DCD may not experience free-play at preschool as "play" but rather as hard work. Further research is needed to determine why children with DCD experience lower well-being at preschool than their peers and to investigate children's perceptions of free-play. This may enable teachers and therapists to better support children with DCD in the preschool environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

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