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

Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 151-189
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Imagination, Cognition and Personality
Volym: 24
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Baywood Publishing Company


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.


  • Psychology


  • ISSN: 1541-4477

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