Research Article  |   December 2017
Relationship Between Sensory Processing and Pretend Play in Typically Developing Children
Author Affiliations
  • Tara Roberts, BAppSci(OccTher), GCHE, is Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; tara.roberts@deakin.edu.au
  • Karen Stagnitti, PhD, GCHE, BOT, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  • Ted Brown, PhD, MSc, MPA, BScOT(Hons),GCHPE, OT(C), OTR, is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Course Convener, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, Monash University, Peninsula Campus, Frankston, Victoria, Australia
  • Anoo Bhopti is PhD candidate, Monash University, and Lecturer, First Year Occupational Therapy Coordinator, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Article Information
School-Based Practice / Sensory Integration and Processing / Special Section: Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 2017
Relationship Between Sensory Processing and Pretend Play in Typically Developing Children
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2017, Vol. 72, 7201195050p1-7201195050p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.027623
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2017, Vol. 72, 7201195050p1-7201195050p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.027623
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We sought to investigate the relationship between sensory processing and pretend play in typically developing children.

METHOD. Forty-two typically developing children ages 5–7 yr were assessed with the Child Initiated Pretend Play Assessment and the Home and Main Classroom forms of the Sensory Processing Measure (SPM).

RESULTS. There were significant relationships between elaborate pretend play and body awareness (r = .62, p < .01), balance (r = .42, p < .01), and touch (r = .47, p < .01). Object substitution was associated with social participation (r = .42, p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS. The sensory processing factors (from the SPM)—namely, Body Awareness, Balance, Touch, and Social Participation—were predictive of the quality of children’s engagement in pretend play in the home environment. The results indicated that, to engage and participate in play, children are involving sensory processing abilities, especially body awareness, balance, and touch.