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Research Article  |   January 1982
Play in Evolution, Culture, and Individual Adaptation: Implications for Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Brian Vandenberg, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Gary Kielhofner, M.A., Dr. P.H., OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Article Information
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Research Article   |   January 1982
Play in Evolution, Culture, and Individual Adaptation: Implications for Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1982, Vol. 36, 20-28. doi:10.5014/ajot.36.1.20
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1982, Vol. 36, 20-28. doi:10.5014/ajot.36.1.20
Abstract

In this paper human play is examined from the perspective of its role in evolution. A model of social evolution is proposed to extend the model of biological evolution and to demonstrate the central role of play in the socialevolutionary process. Since in evolution play is a mechanism for its process, it demands species members who are playful. Thus, man is a player by virtue of species membership and the evolutionary pathway of the species. The implications of this deep-seated characteristic of playfulness are discussed in terms of human development. Finally, a set of principles is derived from the evolutionary-developmental characteristics of play. Application of these principles in clinical practice is demonstrated and discussed.