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Photo of Robyn M. Holmes, Ph.D.

Robyn Holmes, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Psychology
  • Associated Faculty History/Anthropology

Department: Psychology

Office: James and Marlene Howard Hall 140

Phone: 732-571-3508



Ph.D., Rutgers University

Current Research and Scholarship

Current areas of interest are the relationship between play, language, and creativity; the connection between music, play, and children’s cognition; and play and emotional intelligence


Holmes, R. (2020). Cultural psychology: Exploring culture and mind in diverse communities. New York: Oxford University Press.

Holmes, R. M. (1998). Fieldwork with children. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. (also available in complex Chinese).

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

Chapters in an Edited Volume (Peer Reviewed)

*Monmouth University Student; **Monmouth University Alum, ***Student from another institution

Holmes, R. (2020). Health, Wellbeing, and Welfare in Childhood (USA), In C. Dell Clark (Regional Editor) & W. Corsaro (Editor), Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies. London: Bloomsbury.

Holmes, R., & Kohm, K.** (2017). Outdoor play in recess time. In T. Waller, E. Ärlemalm-Hagsér, E. Beate Hansen Sandseter, L. Lee-Hammond, K. Lekies & S. Wyver (Eds.)., The SAGE Handbook of Outdoor Play and Learning (pp. 69-84). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Reference.

Holmes, R. (2012). Children’s Play Preferences in the Pacific Rim: Then and Now. In L. Cohen & S. S. Waite-Stupiansky (Eds.), Play: A Polyphony of research, theories, and issues: Play & Culture Studies, Vol. 12. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. (27-66)

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Holmes, R., Kohm, K.**, Genise, S.,*, Koolidge, L.**, Mendelson, D.***, Romeo, L.  (in press). Is there a connection between children’s language skills, creativity, and play? Early Child Development and Care.

Koolidge, L.,** & Holmes, R. (2018). Piecing it together: The effect of background music on children’s puzzle assembly. Perceptual Motor Skills, 125(2), 387–399.

Moedt, K., **& Holmes, R. (2018): The effects of purposeful play after shared storybook readings on kindergarten children’s reading comprehension, creativity, and language skills and abilities, Early Child Development and Care, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2018.1496914

Holmes, R., Gardner, B., ** Kohm, K., ** Bant, C., Ciminello, A., ** Moedt, K., * & Romeo, L. (2017). The relationship between young children’s language abilities, creativity, play, and storytelling. Early Child Development and Care, 189(2), 244-254.

Kohm, K**., Holmes, R., Romeo, L., & Koolidge, L*. (2016). The connection between shared storybook readings, children’s imagination, social interactions, affect, prosocial behavior, and social play. International Journal of Play, 5(2), 128-140.

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., Liden, S., & Shin, L. (2013). Adolescent perceptions of social media in a Pacific Rim community. Child Studies in Diverse Contexts, 3, 97-119.

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

Holmes, R., & Romeo, L. (2013). Gender, play, language, and creativity in preschoolers. Early Child Development and Care, 183(11), 1531-1543.

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.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Online Platforms

Holmes, R. (2019). Sage Research Methods Datasets – Content Coding and Analysing Open Ended Survey Questions: Young Adults’ Board Game Playing Habits, Preferences, and Perception. SAGE Research Methods Datasets Part 2.

Holmes, R., & Romeo, L. (2018). Researching children’s play, language, and creativity using mixed Methods. Sage Research Methods Cases. Online ISBN: 9781526438959

Awards and Fellowships

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Anthropological Association
  • Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group
  • Children’s Folklore Society
  • Society for Cross Cultural Research
  • The Association for the Study of Play 

Awards and Fellowships

  • Distinguished Teacher Award Recipient
  • Research Fellow – Mary Valentine and Andrew Cosman Fellowship at The Strong – The National Museum of Play


Recently Taught Classes

2024 Spring

2023 Fall

2023 Summer D

2023 Summer A

  • Children’s Folklore – PR 428

2023 Spring

  • Child Psychology – PY 203
  • Children’s Play and Culture – PY 342

2022 Fall

2022 Summer D

2022 Summer A

  • Children’s Folklore – PR 428

2022 Spring

2021 Fall

2021 Summer B

2021 Summer A

  • Children’s Folklore – PR 428

2021 Spring

Frequently Taught Classes