The Utility of Parent-Child Play Measures in Understanding Diagnostic Group Differences

by Maia Marie Noeder

Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Department: Psychology
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Psychology; Clinical Psychology; play; parent-child; child; psychology; autism; language; adhd
Record ID: 2058583
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=case1416994889


Through play, children develop core cognitive, problem solving, motor, social, linguistic, and emotional skills. Parent-child play has become an essential assessment and treatment tool in clinical practice, yet the content, critical factors, and diagnostic utility of available measures have not been empirically evaluated. This study aimed to assess the construct validity of parent-child play characteristics across three distinct measures, evaluate the diagnostic utility of the measures, and determine whether parent, child, or combined parent-child play assessment is most beneficial for differentiating developmentally disabled groups. Findings revealed strong construct validity across the PCPS, DPICS-III, and MBRS/CBRS. The DPICS-III was found to be the most diagnostically predictive parent-child play measure, although each parent-child play measure was found to be successful when discriminating between specific diagnostic populations. The addition of parent-child play measures to a standard diagnostic assessment battery was found to increase diagnostic prediction by 7%. Finally, a child-focused set of variables, followed by a dyad set of variables, was the most diagnostically predictive.