Training adults to play: an experimental study in social group work

Christopher Wainwright

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] The purpose of this study is to develop a training programme to enable adults to be involved in play processes. A second purpose is to show how a programme of this kind may be designed, conducted and evaluated, using the reasoning paradigms of science. A further aim of the study is to generate a better understanding of adult play. How adults fit into the play processes, and how these processes might influence other aspects of living, has been neglected in the literature, although extensive contributions have been made in these areas concerning children and young animals. One aspect of this study is the gaining of information, and the testing of hypotheses, about the nature of adult play and its influence on inter-personal, and intra-personal, functioning. The inquiry starts with the problem posed by the absence of procedures for training adults to engage in play activities. These activities, and accompanying qualities of playfulness, encompass what many people consider to be major social, psychological and cultural dimensions for survival in our post-industrial age of leisure. As a social worker, the author was looking for ways in which to encourage isolated individuals to make confident social interactions, ways in which to enhance family life, and ways in which to guide people towards harmoniously balanced life-styles. More specifically, the direction of the study emerged from the view that clients' expressed needs to have more enjoyment and adventure in life, to be able to express feelings more freely, to increase positive body awareness and body esteem, to find adequate ways to relax the body and mind, to increase social inter-actions, and to experience themselves as powerful agents in their lives, might be met if they did more of what children do in using the play processes as a learning vehicle...
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 1981


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