Thursday, August 13, 2009

Imaginary friends and creativity

In the past a child who had an imaginary friend could sometimes be seen as compensating for timidity and shyness. By some estimates nearly half of all younger children have an imaginary friend at some point and modern research has found that children with imaginary friends are just as sociable and popular as children without one. Researchers from Clark University in Massachusetts studied 48 mothers and their five-and-a-half-year-old children, 23 of whom had had or had an imaginary friend. The children with imaginary friends performed significantly better on a storytelling task than those without one but it is not known whether telling stories about an imaginary friend develops children's storytelling skills or whether children with good storytelling skills use their creativity to invent imaginary friends.

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