Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development

Date:
March 9, 2005
Source:
University Of Manchester
Summary:
A post-graduate student from The University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences is investigating the theory that children with imaginary companions are quicker to develop language skills and retain knowledge.

A post-graduate student from The University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences is investigating the theory that children with imaginary companions are quicker to develop language skills and retain knowledge.

Related Articles


Anna Roby, who is studying for her Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology, is carrying out the research, which aims to test whether having an imaginary friend can help children's learning, development and creativity.

The theory is that by chatting to an imaginary companion a child becomes more practised at using language and constructing conversation, as he or she is carrying out both sides of the interaction. Children aged 4 to 11 both with and without imaginary friends are therefore being studied, to compare their ability to communicate meaning and the complexity of their grammar.

Researchers estimate that up to 25% of children have imaginary companions, particularly only- or first-born children. They are defined as vivid, imagined characters which might be people, animals or objects, which a child believes they are interacting with in an on-going way. The friend may be `invisible' or take the form of a toy animal or doll, and is treated as if it has a personality and consciousness of its own.

Anna also works as a Research Assistant at the University's Max Planck Child Study Centre, and is being supervised in the study by colleagues Dr Evan Kidd and Dr Ludovica Serratrice. Dr Kidd said: "We are very interested in the outcome of this study, and it has opened up an area which has great potential for further investigation.

"If Anna's theories are correct they will help reverse common misconceptions about children with imaginary friends, as they come to be seen as having an advantage rather than anything to worry about."

Parents of children aged 4 to 11 with imaginary companions who are interested in being involved in the study should contact Anna Roby, on 0161 275 8588 or [email protected]


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Manchester. "Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101309.htm>.
University Of Manchester. (2005, March 9). Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101309.htm
University Of Manchester. "Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101309.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) Ruby Holt spent most of her 100 years on a farm in rural Tennessee, picking cotton and raising four children. She saw the ocean for the first time thanks to her assisted living center and a group that grants wishes to the elderly. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins