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Robyn M. Holmes, PhD


PhD, Rutgers University

MA, Rutgers University

BA, Rutgers University

Office: Howard Hall, Room 140

Phone: 732-571-3508


Regularly Taught Courses:

PY103: Introduction to Psychology

PY203: Child Psychology

PY230: History of Psychology

PY321: Qualitative Methods

PY342: Children's Play and Culture

PY342L: Children's Play Thesis Laboratory

PY408: Cultural Psychology

PY491: Research IV: Thesis in Psychology

PR 428: Children's Folklore


My approach to teaching and research includes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches. I teach courses in the Psychology and History/Anthropology Departments as well as for Interdisciplinary Perspectives. My primary research area is children’s play and leisure. Recent explorations include cheating at games, mealtime play, recess, play and culture, and children’s folklore. I typically work with children in real life settings and my most recent geographic area is the Pacific Rim. I have published several books and numerous chapters and articles on topics on early childhood, play, and folklore.

Research Interests:

Children’s play; play and culture; recess; children’s folklore; the Pacific Rim; early childhood curriculum and play



Holmes, R. (1998). Fieldwork with children. Thousand Oaks, CA:   Sage.

Holmes, R. (1995). How Young Children Perceive Race. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scholarly Articles:

(* indicates student co-author)

Holmes, R., Romeo, L., Ciraola, S.,* & Grushko, M.* (2015). The relationship between creativity, social play, and children's language abilities. Early Child Development and Care, 185(7),  1180-1197.

Holmes, R. (2015, October). Becoming Tongan and Playing on the Mother Ground in the Classroom. Neos, 7(2), 10-11.

Holmes, R., Liden, S., & Shin, L. (2013). Adolescent perceptions of social media in a Pacific Rim community. Child Studies in Diverse Contexts, 3, 81-103.

Holmes, R. (2013). Children's play and culture. Scholarpedia, 8(6), 31016.

Holmes, R., & Romeo, L. (2013). Gender, play, language, and creativity in preschoolers. Early Child Development and Care, 83 (11), 1531-1543.

Holmes, R., Liden, S., & Shin, L. (2013). Children's thinking styles, play, and academic performance. American Journal of Play,  5,  219-238.

Holmes, R. (2012). Young children's table talk with peers in early childhood settings. Children's Folklore Review, 34, 41-60.

Holmes, R. (2012). Urban primary school children’s outdoor recess activities: Longitudinal and intra-period patterns. American Journal of Play, 4, 327-351.

Holmes, R. (2011). Adult caregiver attitudes and beliefs regarding play in Lana’i. American Journal of Play, 3, 424-452.

Holmes, R. (2011). “Do you like Doritos?”: Preschoolers’ table talk during lunchtime. Early Child Development and Care, 181, 413-424.

Presentations/Invited Talks:

Holmes, R. (2016, March). Creativity, Social Play, and Language Abilities . Paper presented at the 2016 International Conference of The Association for the Study of Play (TASP) and American Association for the Child's Right to Play (IPA/USA). New Brunswick, New Jersey

Professional Associations:

American Anthropological Association


Association for the Study of Play


Monmouth University Distinguished Teacher Award