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Any relationship that exists in the real world, in other words, is fair game.One challenge in studying imaginary friends, though, is that it’s hard to know if the concept has always been a part of the earliest years of life.“She’d come home and Rachel wasn’t there, so she played with Fake Rachel,” she says.
“I’m not worried by imaginary friends whenever they happen.” Or however they happen.
“Because so few sources are available, early conceptions regarding pretend companions are sketchy.” And it’s difficult to determine which of those early conceptions can be translated into modern terms — in earlier periods, children’s (and adults’) imaginary friends may have been described as spiritual or supernatural entities, like demons or guardian angels.
Today, cultural factors may influence how and how many kids bond with imaginary figures.
And kids they aren’t real; researchers today believe these made-up companions aren’t an indication of loneliness or a deficit of social skills so much as they are a normal way for kids to exercise their imaginations.
In fact, the ability to create characters can begin in infancy, as babies learn to imitate the traits of those around them.
Recall the 65-percent figure — that’s American kids.