Parental insights and attitudes toward children's imaginary companions : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
This study was designed to determine parental attitudes and conceptualisations of the function of imaginary companions. Fourteen parents with children who have imaginary companions and sixteen parents whose children do not have imaginaiy companions, were given one of two questionnaires to complete. The posted questionnaires differed only in regard to those questions directly related to personal experience. Parents in both groups described their children similarly in regard to family composition, competency levels, social activities and behaviour problems. Parents of children with imaginary companions indicated that not all companion's play the same role or function in their creators life. Parental attitudes toward imaginary companions were predominantly negative regardless of whether their child had had an imaginary companion. Attitudes varied in regard to, the age of the child, the length of time they had the companion, the perceived depth of fantasy and the function that the companion served.