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Research Articles

  • Can Lego, Blocks, and Puzzles Improve your Child’s Math Skills?

     The results of the study found that spatial ability greatly influenced their ability to solve math word problems (by about 32%); meaning that there is a direct relationship between those who engage in more constructive play and those who performed better on math word problems. By encouraging construction play at home and in the classroom can greatly lead to improvements in spatial ability as well as increased performance in various school subjects.
  • Gender Bias in Mothers’ Expectations About Infant Crawling 

    In the study, Mothers were asked to estimate their infants’ crawling ability and crawling attempts 

    • “What is the steepest slope your baby can really crawl down successfully, without any help and without falling or sliding?” 
    • “What is the steepest slope your baby will attempt to crawl down, regardless of whether he/she will fall or require assistance?”  

    Mothers estimated that girls could only crawl up a slope of 14 degrees and that boys could crawl up a slope of 19 degrees. However, the study found that there were no significant differences in crawling abilities, crawling attempts, or accuracy of motor decisions between girls and boys.  (i.e., girls could crawl up the same slope that boys could).

     Overall, mother’s expectations were inaccurate on every measure, overestimating all the abilities of the boys and underestimating all the abilities of the girls.

  • “Boys Can Be Anything”: Effect of Barbie Play on Girls’ Career Cognitions

    "Playing with either type of Barbie reduced the number of careers that girls saw as possibilities for themselves compared to the number they perceived as possible for boys. This is one of the first experiments to look at the effect of fashion dolls on girlscareer cognitions and the results are sobering"