Advanced

A friend living inside me: The Forms and functions of imaginary companions

Hoff, Eva LU (2005) In Imagination, Cognition and Personality 24(2). p.151-189
Abstract
Imaginary companions and the characteristics of the children who invent them were explored through interviews. Twenty-six children took part. The first aim was to explore the phenomenon in general, the second to investigate the functions of imaginary companions. General findings concerned the kinds of imaginary companions and some facts about the children who created them. The imaginary companions were mostly same-aged children, but some were different kinds of animal or fantasy creatures. The sources of inspiration varied, comprising friends and siblings. Having a place of their own, where the children could develop their imaginary play, was considered important. The study demonstrated various ways of conducting imaginary play. Imaginary... (More)
Imaginary companions and the characteristics of the children who invent them were explored through interviews. Twenty-six children took part. The first aim was to explore the phenomenon in general, the second to investigate the functions of imaginary companions. General findings concerned the kinds of imaginary companions and some facts about the children who created them. The imaginary companions were mostly same-aged children, but some were different kinds of animal or fantasy creatures. The sources of inspiration varied, comprising friends and siblings. Having a place of their own, where the children could develop their imaginary play, was considered important. The study demonstrated various ways of conducting imaginary play. Imaginary companions functioned as inner mentors, assisting the children in their identity formation work. Imaginary companions were experienced by the children as giving comfort and company, bolstering self-regulation and motivation, enhancing their selves, expanding their personality potential, and finally, enriching their lives. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Imagination, Cognition and Personality
volume
24
issue
2
pages
151 - 189
publisher
Baywood Publishing Company
ISSN
1541-4477
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
15e65092-1a22-4011-8a9b-b9e8ac05a9fe (old id 994662)
date added to LUP
2008-02-01 09:10:36
date last changed
2016-04-15 19:01:38
@article{15e65092-1a22-4011-8a9b-b9e8ac05a9fe,
  abstract     = {Imaginary companions and the characteristics of the children who invent them were explored through interviews. Twenty-six children took part. The first aim was to explore the phenomenon in general, the second to investigate the functions of imaginary companions. General findings concerned the kinds of imaginary companions and some facts about the children who created them. The imaginary companions were mostly same-aged children, but some were different kinds of animal or fantasy creatures. The sources of inspiration varied, comprising friends and siblings. Having a place of their own, where the children could develop their imaginary play, was considered important. The study demonstrated various ways of conducting imaginary play. Imaginary companions functioned as inner mentors, assisting the children in their identity formation work. Imaginary companions were experienced by the children as giving comfort and company, bolstering self-regulation and motivation, enhancing their selves, expanding their personality potential, and finally, enriching their lives.},
  author       = {Hoff, Eva},
  issn         = {1541-4477},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {151--189},
  publisher    = {Baywood Publishing Company},
  series       = {Imagination, Cognition and Personality},
  title        = {A friend living inside me: The Forms and functions of imaginary companions},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2005},
}