case western reserve university


Sandra Russ

Professor of Psychology
and Cognitive Science

Individual website

My research has focused on understanding how pretend play is involved in child development and in child psychotherapy. I have worked with my students to develop a measure of pretend play that assesses both cognitive and affective processes. We have also carried out a number of studies that have investigated the relationship between pretend play and areas of adaptive functioning such as creativity, coping, and emotional understanding. In addition, we have developed play intervention procedures to help children improve their play skills. Next steps are to investigate play and the facilitation of play in clinical populations. We are also working on a brief behavior rating system that assesses play. A broad question that I have also worked on and written about is how affect is involved in the creative process.