Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Craig Bowman

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


This thesis investigates how the behaviors and skills learned during childhood play are conducive towards successful conflict resolution in adulthood. From reviewing the literature, it is clear that pretend play, social play, and games help the socio-cognitive development of a child. Through these types of play, children learn how to become better at taking another person’s perspective, effectively communicate, and regulate their socio- emotional behavior. Additionally, recognizing that negotiation seems to be the most mature way to handle conflict, I argue that children learn to navigate opposition through engaging in their own peer to peer conflicts during play. As a result, using their practiced perspective-taking, communication, and socio-emotional skills learned from play, they improve in their conflict management. Although there has not been substantial studies connecting play and conflict resolution, it is clear that the skills learned during play are associated with constructive resolution–-which as adults, is usually negotiation. Nonetheless, there needs to be more research done on how engaging in conflict and having these broad behaviors and attributes are more directly related to successful conflict management.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.