Guided by a strengths-based resiliency framework, this article reviews a body of research on the positive influence of interactive peer play for African American preschool children from low-income households. This literature provides evidence for positive associations among interactive peer play experiences at home and in school, and children's early childhood social and academic skills. It presents the development and validation of three distinct dimensions of interactive peer play with African American children attending Head Start. It reviews research examining associations between these 3 dimensions and children's academic and social outcomes, as well as evidence-based interventions designed to foster interactive peer play for this population. It highlights challenges and directions for future research, with emphasis on the likely research needed to extend our understanding of interactive peer play experiences for Latino and Asian American children and the complex mechanisms through which positive peer interactions during early childhood may support children's early learning and development.
- interactive peer play
- school readiness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Life-span and Life-course Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health