Doll Play and Puppetry

  • Mary R. Haworth


Dolls have had a universal appeal for young children in all countries and for many centuries, from early antiquity to the present day. The earliest doll-like figures very likely were constructed as representatives of various gods or idols, as totems to be appeased, as funeral figures, or as symbols of supernatural powers for use in festivals or as good luck charms. Puppets have traditionally replicated many adult characters in addition to the usually playful and carefree Kasper, Guignol or Punch. Portrayals of complete doll families originated with religious figures, such as the Holy Family. Fashion dolls were made in France as long as 600 years ago and doll houses, with dolls, have been known to date back at least 300 years. Childlike and baby-dolls, so universally regarded as appropriate toys for children today, did not appear on the scene until the nineteenth century (World Book, 1950).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ammons, Carol H., & Ammons, R. B. Research and clinical applications of the doll-play interview. J. Pers., 1952, 21, 85–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ammons, Carol H., & Ammons, R. B. Aggression in doll-play: interviews of two- to six-year-old white males. J. genet. Psychol, 1953, 82, 205–213.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ammons, R. B. Reactions in a projective doll-play interview of white males two to six years of age to differences in skin color and facial features. J. genet. Psychol., 1950, 76, 323–341.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ammons, R. B., & Ammons, H. S. Parent preferences in young children’s doll-play interviews. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol, 1949, 44, 490–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bach, G. R. Young children’s play fantasies. Psychol. Monogr., 1945, 59, No. 2 (Whole No. 272).Google Scholar
  6. Bach, G. R. Father-fantasies and father-typing in father-separated children. Child Develpm., 1946, 17, 63–80.Google Scholar
  7. Bach, G. R., & Bremer, Gloria. Projective father fantasies of preadolescent, delinquent children. J. Psychol., 1947, 24, 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baldwin, Clara P., & Levin, H. Reinforcement of agents of action in doll play. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol., 1964, 68, 328–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baruch, Dorothy W. Aggression during doll play in a preschool. Amer. J. Ortho-psychiat., 1941, 11, 252–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bender, Lauretta, & Woltmann, A. G. The use of puppet shows as a psychotherapeutic method for behavior problems in children. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1936, 6, 341–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bender, Lauretta, & Woltmann, A. G. Play and psychotherapy. Nerv. Child, 1941-42, 1, 17–42.Google Scholar
  12. Bookbinder, Kathryn F. The relation of social status and punishment as observed in stories obtained with the Driscoll Play Kit. Dissert. Abst., 1955, 15, 1252–53.Google Scholar
  13. Bremer, G. The effect of two fantasy environments on children’s doll play responses. Unpublished master’s thesis, State University of Iowa, 1947.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, D. G. Sex-role preference in young children. Psychol. Monogr., 1956, 70, No. 14 (Whole No. 421).Google Scholar
  15. Caron, A. J., & Gewirtz, J. L. An investigation of the effects of the sex category of the interacting adult, chronological age (6, 8 and 10), and sex of child, on aggressive (hostile) behavior in doll play. Amer. Psychologist, 1951, 6, 307. (Abstract)Google Scholar
  16. Carroll, J. B., & Levin, H. A method for determining the polarity of behavior items. Child Develpm., 1956, 27, 427–438.Google Scholar
  17. Cassell, Sylvia. Effect of brief puppet therapy upon the emotional responses of children undergoing cardiac catheterization. J. consult. Psychol., 1965, 29, 1–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Clark, K. B., & Clark, Mamie P. Racial identification and preference in Negro children. In T. M. Newcomb & E. L. Hartley (Eds.), Readings in Social Psychology. New York: Holt, 1947. Pp. 169–178.Google Scholar
  19. Cohn, Fay S. Fantasy aggression in children as studied by the doll play technique. Child Develpm., 1962, 33, 235–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Commoss, Harriet H. Some characteristics related to social isolation in second grade children. J. educ. Psychol., 1962, 53, 38–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Conn, J. H. A psychiatric study of car sickness in children. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1938, 8, 130–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Conn, J. H. Children’s reactions to the discovery of genital differences. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1940, 10, 741-154. Google Scholar
  23. Conn, J. H. The play-interview as an investigative and therapeutic procedure. Nerv. Child, 1948, 7, 257–286.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Despert, J. Louise. A method for the study of personality reactions in pre-school age children by means of analysis of their play. J. Psychol., 1940, 9, 17–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Driscoll, Gertrude P. The Driscoll Play Kit. New York: Psychological Corporation, 1959.Google Scholar
  26. Emmerich, W. Parental identification in young children. Genet. Psychol. Monogr., 1959, 60, 257–308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Erickson, Florence H. Play interviews for four-year-old hospitalized children. Monogr. Soc. Res. Child Develpm., 1958, 23, No. 3 (Serial No. 69).Google Scholar
  28. Erikson, E. H. Sex differences in the play configurations of preadolescents. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1951, 21, 667–692.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gewirtz, J. L. An investigation of aggressive behavior in the doll play of young Sac and Fox Indian children, and a comparison to the aggression of Midwestern white preschool children. Amer. Psychologist, 1950, 5, 294–295. (Abstract).Google Scholar
  30. Goodman, Mary E. Race Awareness in Young Children. Cambridge, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1952.Google Scholar
  31. Gordon, J. E., & Cohn, Faye. Effect of fantasy arousal of affiliation drive on doll play aggression. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol., 1963, 66, 301–307.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hartley, Ruth E., Frank, L. K., & Goldenson, R. M. New Play Experiences for Children. New York: Columbia University Press, 1952.Google Scholar
  33. Hartup, W. W., & Himeno, Yayoi. Social isolation versus interaction with adults inrelation to aggression in preschool children. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol., 1959, 59, 17-22. Google Scholar
  34. Hartup, W. W. Some correlates of parental imitation in young children. Child Develpm., 1962, 33, 85–96.Google Scholar
  35. Haworth, Mary R. The use of a filmed puppet show as a group projective technique for children. Genet. Psychol. Monogr., 1957, 56, 257–296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Haworth, Mary R. Films as a group technique. In A. I. Rabin & Mary R. Haworth (Eds.), Projective Techniques with Children. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1960. Pp. 177–190.Google Scholar
  37. Haworth, Mary R. Repeat study with a projective film for children. J. consult. Psychol., 1961, 25, 78–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Haworth, Mary R. Responses of children to a group projective film and to the Rorschach, CAT, Despert Fables and DAP. J. proj. Tech., 1962, 26, 47–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Haworth, Mary R., & Woltmann, A. G. Rock-A-Bye, Baby: A Group Projective Test for Children. (Manual and film). University Park, Pa.: Psychological Cinema Register, 1959.Google Scholar
  40. Henry, J., & Henry, Zunia. Doll play of Pilaga Indian children. In C. Kluckhohn & H. A. Murray (Eds.), Personality in Nature, Society, and Culture (2nd ed.). New York: Knopf, 1953. Pp. 292–307.Google Scholar
  41. Hollenberg, Eleanor, & Sperry, Margaret. Some antecedents of aggression and effects of frustration in doll play. Personality, 1951, 1, 32–43.Google Scholar
  42. Honzik, Marjorie P. Sex differences in the occurrence of materials in the play constructions of preadolescents. Child Develpm., 1951, 22, 15–35.Google Scholar
  43. Isch, Maria J. Fantasied mother-child interaction in doll play. J. genet. Psychol, 1952, 81, 233–258.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Jenkins, R. L., & Beckh, Erica. Finger puppets and mask making as media for work with children. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1942, 12, 294–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Korner, Anneliese F. Some Aspects of Hostility in Young Children. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1949.Google Scholar
  46. Krall, Vita. Personality characteristics of accident repeating children. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol, 1953, 48, 99–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lerner, E., & Murphy, Lois B. Methods for the study of personality in young children. Monogr. Soc. Res. Child Develpm., 1941, 6, No. 4 (Whole No. 30).Google Scholar
  48. Levin, H., & Sears, R. R. Identification with parents as a determinant of doll play aggression. Child Develpm., 1956, 27, 135–153.Google Scholar
  49. Levin, H., & Turgeon, Valerie P. The influence of the mother’s presence on children’s doll play aggression. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol., 1957, 55, 304–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Levin, H., & Wardwell, Elinor. The research uses of doll play. Psychol. Bull., 1962, 59, 27–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Levy, D. M. Use of play technique as experimental procedure. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1933, 3, 266–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Levy, D. M. Hostility patterns in sibling rivalry experiments. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1936, 6, 183–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Levy, D. M. Sibling rivalry studies in children of primitive groups. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1939, 9, 205–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Levy, D. M. The use of projective techniques in the interpretation of hostility patterns. In H. H. Anderson & Gladys L. Anderson (Eds.), An Introduction to Projective Techniques. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1951. Pp. 676–704.Google Scholar
  55. Lowenfeld, Margaret. The World Pictures of Children: a method of recording and studying them. Brit. J. med. Psychol, 1939, 18, 65–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lyle, Jeanetta, & Holly, Sophie B. The therapeutic value of puppets. Bull. Menninger Clin., 1941, 5, 223–226.Google Scholar
  57. Lynn, D. B. Structured Doll Play Test (SDP): A Projective Test for Use with Children. Burlingame, Calif.: Test Developments, 1959.Google Scholar
  58. Lynn, D. B., Glaser, Helen H., & Harrison, Grace S. Comprehensive medical care for handicapped children: III. Concepts of illness in children with rheumatic fever. Amer. J. Dis. Child., 1962, 103, 120–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lynn, D. B., & Lynn, Rosalie. The Structured Doll Play Test as a projective technique for use with children. J. proj. Tech., 1959, 23, 335–344.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Lynn, D. B., & Sawrey, W. L. The effects of father-absence on Norwegian boys and girls. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol, 1959, 59, 258–262.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lynn, D. B., & Sawrey, W. L. Sex differences in the personality development of Norwegian children. J. genet. Psychol, 1962, 101, 367–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lynn, Rosalie. Sex role preference and mother-daughter fantasies in young girls. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Denver, 1961.Google Scholar
  63. Mayhew, P. First findings on doll play with spastic hemiplegic children. Develpm. Med. Child Neurol, 1963, 5, 483–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. McElvoney, Muriel B. Four types of fantasy aggression in the response of “rebellious” and “submissive” children to the Driscoll Play Kit, structured by parental-demand and neutral stimulus stories. Dissert. Abstr., 1958, 19, 364.Google Scholar
  65. Miller, H., & Baruch, Dorothy W. A study of hostility in allergic children. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1950, 20, 506–519.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Moore, T. Structured Doll Play Test. In O. Buros (Ed.) The Sixth Mental Measurements Yearbook. Highland Park, N. J.: Gryphon Press, 1965. Pp. 520–522.Google Scholar
  67. Moore, T., & Ucko, L. E. Four to six: constructiveness and conflict in meeting doll play problems. J. child Psychol Psychiat., 1961, 2, 21–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Mosse, Hilda L. The Duess Test. Amer. J. Psychother., 1954, 8, 251–264.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Murphy, Lois B., & collaborators. Personality in Young Children, Vol. 1. Methods for the Study of Personality in Young Children. New York: Basic Books, 1956.Google Scholar
  70. Mussen, P., & Distler, L. Masculinity, identification, and father-son relationships. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol., 1959, 59, 350–356.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Mussen, P., & Rutherford, E. Parent-child relations and parental personality in relation to young children’s sex-role preferences. Child Develpm., 1963, 34, 589–607.Google Scholar
  72. Peixotto, Helen E., & Hill, Evelyn F. Phantasy in asthmatic children with special reference to Driscoll Doll Play. J. asthma Res., 1964-65, 2, 199–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Pintler, Margaret H. Doll play as a function of experimenter-child interaction andinitial organization of materials. Child Develpm., 1945, 16, 145–166.Google Scholar
  74. Pintler, Margaret H., Phillips, Ruth, & Sears, R. R. Sex differences in the projective doll play of preschool children. J. Psychol, 1946, 21, 73–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Phillips, Ruth. Doll play as a function of the realism of the materials and the length of the experimental session. Child Develpm., 1945, 16, 123–143.Google Scholar
  76. Rabban, M. Sex-role identification in young children in two diverse social groups. Genet. Psychol. Monogr., 1950, 42, 81–158.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. Rambert, Madeleine. Children in Conflict. New York: International Universities Press, 1949.Google Scholar
  78. Ritchie, Jane. Childhood in Rakau. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria Univer. Publ. Psychol. No. 10, 1957 (Monographs on Maori Social Life and Personality).Google Scholar
  79. Robinson, Elizabeth F. Doll play as a function of the doll family constellation. Child Develpm., 1946, 17, 99–119.Google Scholar
  80. Rosenzweig, S., & Shakow, D. Play technique in schizophrenia and other psychoses. Amer. J. Orthopsychiat., 1937, 7, 36–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Ross, A. O. Structured Doll Play Test. In O. Buros (Ed.), The Sixth Mental Measurements Yearbook. Highland Park, N.J.: Gryphon Press, 1965. Pp. 522–523.Google Scholar
  82. Sandler, Louise. Child-rearing practices of mothers of asthmatic children. J. asthma Res., 1964-65, 2, 109–142; 215-256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Scott, R. G. Projective parental fantasies of parent-separated children and children infamilies. Unpublished Ed. D. project report, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1954.Google Scholar
  84. Sears, Pauline S. Doll play aggression in normal young children: influence of sex, age, sibling status, father’s absence. Psychol. Monogr., 1951, 65, No. 6 (Whole No. 323).Google Scholar
  85. Sears, Pauline S. Child-rearing factors related to playing of sex-typed roles. Amer. Psychologist, 1953, 8 431.(Abstract)Google Scholar
  86. Sears, R. R. Influence of methodological factors on doll play performance. Child Develpm., 1947, 18, 190–197.Google Scholar
  87. Sears, R. R., Maccoby, Eleanor E., & Levin, H. Patterns of Child Rearing. Evanston, I11.: Row, Peterson, 1957.Google Scholar
  88. Sears, R. R., Pintler, Margaret H., & Sears, Pauline S. Effect of father separation on preschool children’s doll-play aggression. Child Develpm., 1946, 17, 219–243.Google Scholar
  89. Sears, R. R., Whiting, J., Nowlis, V., & Sears, Pauline S. Some child-rearing antecedents of aggression and dependency in young children. Genet. Psychol. Monogr., 1953, 47, 135–234.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  90. Stamp, Isla M. An evaluation of the Driscoll Play Kit used with incomplete stories as an instrument for the diagnosis of personality. Unpublished Ed. D. project report, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1954.Google Scholar
  91. Stern, E. M., & Asherman, N. Grandparent behavior and attitudes as perceived by children. Unpublished Ed. D. project report, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1955.Google Scholar
  92. Stolz, Lois M. et al. Father Relations of War-born Children. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1954.Google Scholar
  93. Walsh, Ann M. Self-concepts of Bright Boys with Learning Difficulties. New York: Bur. Public, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1956.Google Scholar
  94. Winstel, Beulah. The use of a controlled play situation in determining certain effects of maternal attitudes on children. Child Develpm., 1951, 22, 299–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Witkin, H. A., Lewis, H. B., Hertzman, M., Machover, Karen, Meissner, Pearl B., & Wapner, S. Personality Through Perception. New York: Harper, 1954.Google Scholar
  96. Woltmann, A. G. The use of puppets in understanding children. Ment. Hyg., 1940, 24, 445–458.Google Scholar
  97. Woltmann, A. G. The use of puppetry as a projective method in therapy. In H. H. Anderson & Gladys L. Anderson (Eds.), An Introduction to Projective Techniques. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1951. Pp. 606–638.Google Scholar
  98. Woltmann, A. G. Spontaneous puppetry by children as a projective method. In A. I. Rabin & Mary R. Haworth (Eds.), Projective Techniques with Children. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1960. Pp. 305–312. World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 4. Chicago: Field Enterprises, 1950.Google Scholar
  99. Yarrow, L. J. The effect of antecedent frustration on projective play. Psychol. Monogr. 1948, 62, No. 6 (Whole No. 293).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary R. Haworth

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations