Much of the research on play deprivation comes from studies of rats, a particularly playful and adaptive species. Findings point to disastrous effects in terms of inability to regulate emotions, interact socially with others or to mate successfully (Pellis and Pellis, 2006 and 2007). In addition, further effects are evident in adolescence and adulthood. Spinka et al. (2001: 155) conclude that findings from animal research indicate that ‘play deprivation results in increased fear and uncertainty in novel environments, and more escalated aggressive behaviour towards other animals in serious conflicts’.
Lester, S. & Russell, W. (2010). Children’s Right to Play. An Examination of the Importance of Play in the Lives of Children Worldwide. Working Papers in Early Childhood Development, p.42.