Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)
Date of Last Revision
Political Science - Criminal Justice - Track 2
Number of Credits
Bachelor of Science
Date of Expected Graduation
This paper is a literature review which examines the relationship between play and prosocial behavior. More specifically, it examines its inverse, questioning whether a lack of play in early childhood may be correlated to the development of antisocial behavior later in life. Comparing research from an abundance of psychologists, criminologists, and sociologists, this paper answers various questions pertaining to play and prosocial behavior: What happens if play is inhibited in childhood? Would different reasons for play to be inhibited result in different results (i.e. abusive childhoods, desperate situations such as homelessness and poverty, chronic illness, etc.)? Is a lack of play in childhood telltale of future antisocial behavior? It is concluded that play teaches children certain skills that help develop empathy, and if an individual were to be incapable of play in any way, their empathetic development could potentially be stumped. Thus, while a lack of play does not directly cause antisocial behavior in childhood, it does increase a risk in an development of empathy – which is a key trait of antisocial behavior.
Honors Faculty Advisor
Vazquez, Cheyenne, "Play's Role in the Development of Antisocial Behavior" (2020). Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects. 1075.