Journal Article

The behavioral effects of cooperative and competitive board games in preschoolers


Traditional board games are a common social activity for many children, but little is known about the behavioral effects of this type of game. The current study aims to explore the behavioral effects of cooperative and competitive board games in four-to-six-year-old children (N = 65). Repeatedly during six weeks, children in groups of four played either cooperative or competitive board games in a between-subject design, and shortly after each game conducted a task in which children’s cooperative, prosocial, competitive and antisocial behavior were observed. Type of board game did not have an effect on cooperative, prosocial or antisocial behavior. Cooperative and competitive board games elicited equal amounts of cooperative and prosocial behavior, which suggest that board games, regardless of type, could have positive effects on preschoolers’ social behavior. Our results suggest that children may compete more after playing competitive board games; but the measure of competitive behavior in particular was unreliable. Preschoolers enjoyed playing cooperative board games more than competitive board games, which may be one reason to prefer their use.

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Eriksson, Malin
Kenward, Ben
Poom, Leo
Stenberg, Gunilla

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-12-18

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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