Imaginary companions, creativity, and self-image in middle childhood

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54 Citations (SciVal)


This study investigates four questions: First, whether there is a relationship between imaginary companions and creative potential; second, whether children with negative self-images are more likely to have imaginary companions; third, whether there are gender differences among those children who have imaginary companions; and, finally, what aspects of imaginary companions and what characteristics of those who invent them are related to creativity. The measurements used were a questionnaire about imaginary companions, 3 estimates of creative potential, and a self-image inventory. Among the 69 participating 4th graders, 52% reported having (had) imaginary companions. The children with imaginary companions were more creative on 2 of 3 estimates of creativity and had lower self-image scores. The self-image differences were greatest on the subscales measuring psychological well-being and peer relations. It was more common for girls to have imaginary companions. Aspects associated with creativity among the children with imaginary companions were, for example, elaboration of the companion's character and number of imaginary companions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational Therapy (Closed 2012) (013025000), Department of Psychology (012010000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Occupational Therapy


  • Imaginary companions
  • pretend playmates
  • make-believe friends


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