The Effects of Traditional Games on Preschool Children’s Social Development and Emotional Intelligence: A Two - Group, Pretest - Posttest, Randomized, Controlled Trial

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Background and Objectives: Social development and emotional intelligence prepare children for school and life. Group games can promote social development and emotional intelligence. The current study aimed at assessing the effects of traditional games on preschool children’s social development and emotional intelligence. Methods: As a 2 - group, pretest - posttest, randomized, controlled trial, the current study was conducted in 2016 on 50 preschool children. Children were selected through cluster sampling from kindergartens in Birjand, Iran, and randomly allocated to intervention and control groups. In the intervention group, children attended sixteen 30 - 45-minute traditional game sessions held twice weekly in 8 successive weeks, while children in the control group played routine games in the same period. To collect data, the Vineland social maturity scale and the Bradberry - Greaves emotional intelligence test were completed for all participants both before and after the intervention. The data were analyzed with SPSS version 16.0 by running the Chi - square, the paired - samples t, and the independent-samples t tests as well as the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) at a significance level of < 0.05. Results: Before the intervention, there were no significant differences between the groups respecting the mean scores of social development and emotional intelligence (P > 0.05). However, after the intervention, the mean scores of social development and emotional intelligence were significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Traditional games are effective in improving preschool children’s social development and emotional intelligence. Parents need to be informed about the positive effects of traditional games and should be encouraged to provide their children with the opportunity to play such games.