Moments of intimacy: Co-creation of themes and coordination of action within sibling pretense

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Klassen, Tetyana Marie
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University of Guelph

Pretend play interaction sequences were investigated in 39 dual parent families with siblings of approximately four and six years of age. Weingarten's (1991) definition of intimacy, as moments of high co-creation of meaning and high coordination of action, was utilized to explore sibling pretend play as a context for intimate interactions. Pretense interaction sequences were coded within a four-quadrant model of intimacy in which intimacy was defined as high co-creation of pretense theme and high coordination of action within pretense enactment. Significantly more pretense interaction sequences were coded as intimate than as any other type of sequence. Pretense interaction sequences coded as intimate according to the model were longer in average length than other pretense interaction sequences. Concurrent associations (sibling appraisals and frequency of conflict) with the intimacy model of pretense were also explored. The implications of viewing pretense as a forum for siblings to develop close, intimate relationships are discussed.

pretend play interaction sequences, dual parent families, siblings, intimate interactions