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J Child Fam Stud. 2011 Oct;20(5):623-630. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

Maternal Reports of Play Dates of Clinic Referred and Community Children.

Abstract

Recent interventions have focused upon play dates as a means to improve friendships. However, no measures have been published which quantify play date quality. An important characteristic of play dates in this regard may be the amount of conflict. We present the development of such a measure. We compare maternal reports of play dates for 112 community subjects with 48 subjects referred for peer problems (mean age = 8.7 years). We found that clinic-referred subjects had significantly fewer hosted and invited play dates than the community subjects. The mean conflict on play dates was significantly lower for the community subjects than for the clinic-referred subjects. We obtained significant correlations between conflict on play dates and measures of problem behaviors. Our results support the position that conflict on play dates is an important area to target in social skills training programs. The scale may prove useful to clinicians and researchers by facilitating screening and assessing interventions directed towards improving play dates.

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