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Restricting Children's Free Play May Cause Harm - featured August 29, 2011

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[Source: Medical News Today]

Parents who hover over their children, undermining their chances of engaging in unstructured play, could be doing them more harm than good, Peter Gray writes in the American Journal of Play. Gray and a team of experts have written a series of articles on how free play has become nearly extinct, and its impact on children and society.

Guest Editor Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology at Boston College, said: "Remarkably, over the last 50 years, opportunities for children to play freely have declined continuously and dramatically in the United States and other developed nations; and that decline continues, with serious negative consequences for children's physical, mental, and social development."

This special issue of the American Journal of Play reviews the evidence for the crucial roles of play in children's development and proposes ways we may create a world in which play - especially free outdoor play with other children's is once again a normative part of childhood."

Gray gathered data from several studies that showed an association between the decline of free play opportunities for children in industrialized nations, and an increase in the incidence of narcissism, feelings of helplessness, depressions and suicide in children, teenagers, and young adults.

Read the Rest of this Article on Medical News Today

Tags: News of the Week Play Newsletter 2 September 2011