Date of Award


Document Type

Field Project

Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Lisa Kelly-Vance

Second Advisor

Bridgette O. Ryalls

Third Advisor

Kris Swain


Play Assessment (PA) has recently gained the attention of researchers as a potential valid assessment tool for determining the cognitive capabilities in younger children. O f particular importance is the use o f PA among various contexts. Specifically, PA can provide insight into the types of contextual situations that promote higher levels of cognitive skills in younger children. The present study explored peer interactions as a contextual aspect of PA using the PACSS empirical coding scheme to determine the highest level of play behavior. According to the present study, results did not yield any significant differences in overall cognitive play behaviors among 3 year-old children when a peer interaction component was added to spontaneous play. The results indicate that using an unfamiliar peer during free play does not elicit optimal levels of play behaviors during Play Assessment.

Included in

Psychology Commons