College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology: Child/Adolescent Development
Primary Subject Area
Imaginary Companions, Social Skills
The imagination and creativity of children is often puzzling to the adult mind. Pretend play and make-believe friends are often prevalent in the life of a child. Past research shows a relationship between the use of the imagination in children’s play and their social, cognitive, and emotional development. Furthermore, there are a number of gender differences in the type of imaginary play and pretend friends children create. Children of all ages reported engaging in make-believe play. Therefore, this study investigated whether children create imaginary companions as a result of their social adaptability or socially adapt in the way that they do as a result of the presence of an imaginary companion.