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postgraduate thesis: Parental beliefs on play among 2-3-year-olds : a mixed-method study in coastal China

TitleParental beliefs on play among 2-3-year-olds : a mixed-method study in coastal China
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Li, HNg, THM
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lin, X. [林洵怡]. (2017). Parental beliefs on play among 2-3-year-olds : a mixed-method study in coastal China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractPlay is widely regarded as beneficial to children’s development in the early years, but this belief is not universal. Chinese traditional culture, for instance, views children’s play as harmful, or at least unbeneficial. Chinese parents, affected by the interactions between globalization and localization, have been transforming their beliefs on play. This thesis examines parental beliefs about the value of play in two- and three-year-old children in three coastal cities in China (Fuzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai). A mixed-method research approach was employed in the three-study research. Study One developed a new scale Chinese Parent Play Beliefs Scale (CPPBS) and examined the relationship between parents’ play beliefs and their engagement in children’s play at home, using a sample of 483 parents of children (M = 36.48 months, SD = 4.86), in Fuzhou and Shenzhen. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed a two-factor construct of CPPBS—Play for Learning and Play for Fun—and regression and mediation models indicated parent involvement mediated the relationship between beliefs about Play for Learning and children’s engagement with (pre-) academic related play, but it did not mediate the relationship between beliefs about Play for Fun and children’s engagement with fantasy and entertainment play. Study Two investigated variations in parents’ play beliefs, and their relation to child outcomes, among 163 couples with two- and three-year-old children (M = 38.73 months, SD = 4.91), in Shenzhen. Cluster analysis revealed the existence of three groups of parents: (1) Traditional parents, who placed a high value on (pre-) academic activities, but a low value on free play; (2) Contemporary parents, who placed a high value on free play, but a low value on (pre-) academic activities; and, (3) Eclectic parents, who highly valued both (pre-) academic activities and free play. Hierarchical regressions showed that, compared with the two other clusters, Eclectic parents had children with better gross motor, socio-emotional, and overall development, after controlling for socio-demographic factors. Study Three was a multiple-case study in Shanghai that purposively selected six cases, of which two were representative of each cluster found in Study Two. The results verified the diversity of parents’ beliefs about children’s play, and the complexity of the relationship between parental play beliefs and practices found in Studies One and Two. Parental perceptions, values, and attitudes towards children’s play and learning varied among the six cases. The differences were mostly instantiated in family-based practices regarding the provision of toys, use of time, and parental roles in children’s play. However, some beliefs were not translated into action. This thesis systematically examined parental beliefs on early childhood play in Chinese contexts. Its findings provide empirical evidence about intra-cultural variations in the play beliefs of contemporary Chinese parents, and highlight the importance thereof for young children’s development of a balance in the home between free play and structured activities. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPlay
China - Attitudes - Parents
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/250801

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLi, H-
dc.contributor.advisorNg, THM-
dc.contributor.authorLin, Xunyi-
dc.contributor.author林洵怡-
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-26T01:59:35Z-
dc.date.available2018-01-26T01:59:35Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationLin, X. [林洵怡]. (2017). Parental beliefs on play among 2-3-year-olds : a mixed-method study in coastal China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/250801-
dc.description.abstractPlay is widely regarded as beneficial to children’s development in the early years, but this belief is not universal. Chinese traditional culture, for instance, views children’s play as harmful, or at least unbeneficial. Chinese parents, affected by the interactions between globalization and localization, have been transforming their beliefs on play. This thesis examines parental beliefs about the value of play in two- and three-year-old children in three coastal cities in China (Fuzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai). A mixed-method research approach was employed in the three-study research. Study One developed a new scale Chinese Parent Play Beliefs Scale (CPPBS) and examined the relationship between parents’ play beliefs and their engagement in children’s play at home, using a sample of 483 parents of children (M = 36.48 months, SD = 4.86), in Fuzhou and Shenzhen. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed a two-factor construct of CPPBS—Play for Learning and Play for Fun—and regression and mediation models indicated parent involvement mediated the relationship between beliefs about Play for Learning and children’s engagement with (pre-) academic related play, but it did not mediate the relationship between beliefs about Play for Fun and children’s engagement with fantasy and entertainment play. Study Two investigated variations in parents’ play beliefs, and their relation to child outcomes, among 163 couples with two- and three-year-old children (M = 38.73 months, SD = 4.91), in Shenzhen. Cluster analysis revealed the existence of three groups of parents: (1) Traditional parents, who placed a high value on (pre-) academic activities, but a low value on free play; (2) Contemporary parents, who placed a high value on free play, but a low value on (pre-) academic activities; and, (3) Eclectic parents, who highly valued both (pre-) academic activities and free play. Hierarchical regressions showed that, compared with the two other clusters, Eclectic parents had children with better gross motor, socio-emotional, and overall development, after controlling for socio-demographic factors. Study Three was a multiple-case study in Shanghai that purposively selected six cases, of which two were representative of each cluster found in Study Two. The results verified the diversity of parents’ beliefs about children’s play, and the complexity of the relationship between parental play beliefs and practices found in Studies One and Two. Parental perceptions, values, and attitudes towards children’s play and learning varied among the six cases. The differences were mostly instantiated in family-based practices regarding the provision of toys, use of time, and parental roles in children’s play. However, some beliefs were not translated into action. This thesis systematically examined parental beliefs on early childhood play in Chinese contexts. Its findings provide empirical evidence about intra-cultural variations in the play beliefs of contemporary Chinese parents, and highlight the importance thereof for young children’s development of a balance in the home between free play and structured activities. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshPlay-
dc.subject.lcshChina - Attitudes - Parents-
dc.titleParental beliefs on play among 2-3-year-olds : a mixed-method study in coastal China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991043979551703414-

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