Sociodramatic Play/Role-Play

Play represents an important context in which children learn about and enact gender roles and gender identity. Sociodramatic play, or role-play, represents one specific type of play characterized by children’s imaginative assumption of social roles and the acting out of complex narrative sequences with a partner through a process of shared make-believe. This entry reviews information from the field of developmental psychology pertaining to the ways in which gender manifests itself in children’s sociodramatic play. First, what is known about the development of children’s sociodramatic play/role-play is described. Subsequent sections focus on evidence of gender differences in parent-child and child-peer sociodramatic play. Information concerning the gendered nature of themes in children’s sociodramatic play is also reviewed. The entry concludes with a review of information about ...

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