Thesis

Influential variables of pleasurable behavior in play

The purpose of this project was to explore the influential variables of pleasurable behavior in the outdoor play of four-year old children. Based upon this exploratory investigation, hypotheses for further research were formulated and recommendations for developing an instrument for measuring pleasurable behavior were offered. A literature review was conducted in order to investigate the relationship of stimuli of pleasure and of pleasurable behavior in play. Observations of ten children at the Children’s Center were conducted in order to investigate the influence of play equipment, activity, physica1 risk, and social interaction upon the p1easurable responses of four-year old children during their- outdoor play. A behavior questionnaire was administered in order to determine the relationship between personality and pleasurable behavior in play questionnaire on fun and p1ay was administered to ten nursery school teachers in order to identify specific pleasurable responses of preschool children and the activities and pieces of equipment which may stimulate these pleasurable responses. The findings of this project illustrated the complexities of identifying the specific stimu1i which motivated particular plesurab1e responses in children’s play. The smile was the most frequent pleasurable response. Expressions of pleasure were greatly stimu1ated by activities of rapid body movement, intense imagination reasonable risk, and social interaction. Numerous qualities of equipment, activities, and the environment which may have substantial influence on the pleasurable behavior of children were identified. The multiplicity of information revealed in this project indicated a great need for further research in establishing the relationship of play and pleasure.

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