First Advisor

Cathleen Smith

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Sharing, Toys



Physical Description

1 online resource (53 p.)


This study examined whether the number of available play materials (toys) affected the occurrence of sharing behavior in preschool children. Eighteen four- and five-year-old children were assigned by age and gender to six same-sexed groups of three children each and were observed during three, 10-minute observation sessions. All groups were observed playing with one toy, two toys, and three toys. The children's play activities with the toy(s) were videotaped, and a behavioral coding system was developed to record those behaviors. The effect of toy condition on the sharing categories of Asked-for-Share, Partial Share, Overall Share (a category combining the highly correlated behaviors of Asked-for-Share and Spontaneous Share), and Spontaneous Share was analyzed. Age and gender were found to be unrelated to sharing. Only the effect of toy condition on Overall Share was statistically significant. Further analysis revealed that the three-toy condition affected the occurrence of Overall Share by reducing the amount of sharing. Implications for further research were discussed.


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