There is some value in reviewingstudies done with children because we were all children once and some of whatis true for children may also hold true with adults.
In other words, ideasexpressed in these studies are worth looking into for adults.A book by Charles Schaeferand Steven Reid described the efficacy of using games for therapy and promotingchildren’s learning. It makes a compelling case through case studies providedfrom the authors’ personal experience conducting therapy with kids that gamesare a highly effective way to help kids mentally (Schaefer & Reid, 2001). A book by Peter Gray called Free to Learn: Why Unleashing The Instinct ToPlay Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, And Better Students forLife compares children from modern, western society to children ofthe same age in hunter-gathering communities through anthropological studies onhunter-gatherer communities (Gray, 2013). Gray claims hunting-gathering is thenatural way of life that humans have deviated from, and that it is throughfree, unstructured, unsupervised play that hunger-gatherer communities enabletheir children to learn and grow into functioning adults.
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References scales(Taylor’s Manifest Anxiety scale, created 1952; and Minnesota MultiphasicPersonality Inventory MMPI, created 1951) that measure anxiety and otherdisorders such as depression to claim that disorders in children have been onthe rise and this that this is likely due to not allowing children to learn andgrow in “natural” ways (play) (Gray, 2013). More research would need to be done in order to further claim play canheld adults learn more effectively.Similarly, another study on children by Hromek, R., , S.
(2009) called PromotingSocial and Emotional Learning with Games: It’s Fun and We Learn Thingsclaimed that games are key to enabling children to learn social and emotionalskills. This study referenced several others. One was the book by Robyn Hromek,Game Time: Games to Promote Socialand Emotional Resilience in Children Aged 4-14 which claimed throughevidence from previous studies (Smilansky & Shafatya, 1990; Connoly, et.al. 1988; Fromberg, 1992 among others) that play is “the language of children”(Hromek, R.
, 2005) and it enables children to adopt healthy behaviours in theirgeneral life. Again, given these writings were focused on children, moreresearch would be needed if the same could be said for adults. However, itmakes the prospect hopeful that the same could be proven for adults later on.