Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Keith M. Christensen


Keith M. Christensen


Sean E. Michael


Sue T. Olsen


Play is an important part of supporting social interactions with children, and these interactions are an imperative part of a child’s social development. Social development is a significant challenge for children with disabilities, making play an important component in helping with their development. Different play environments may be better than others in terms of supporting social interactions. In order to determine what types of play environments were best at supporting social interaction, children between 33 and 36 months of age were observed in three different settings. Children that were part of the Lil’ Aggies program—an early intervention program that helps children under the age of 3 with disabilities transition into community and district preschools—were observed on the playground, in the classroom, and in the gym. The social interactions in each of these environments were compared to see if one environment promoted more social interactions than another. A time-sampling procedure was used for the observations in each of the settings. Following the observations, the data were analyzed using an independent sample t-test procedure. It was found that children are more likely to interact with peers on the playground, and more likely to interact with adults in the classroom. It was also found that interactions on the playground were more likely to be positive.




This work made publicly available electronically on December 20, 2012.