There has been plenty of hand-wringing in recent years about the “overscheduled child.” With after-school hours increasingly dominated by piano lessons, soccer practice, and countless other planned activities, many of us have a nagging sense that kids are missing out on something important if they have no time for unstructured play.
German psychologists find people who were allowed to play freely as children have greater social success as adults.
New research from Germany suggests these fears are justified. It finds people who recall having plenty of free time during childhood enjoy high levels of social success as adults.
A team of three psychologists from the University of Hildesheim, led by Werner Greve, conducted a survey of 134 people. Participants were presented with a list of seven statements and reported the degree to which they conformed with their own childhood experiences (that is, ages three to 10).