Linda A. Hughes is an American play scholar who focused her research on children’s games, notably the game of foursquare. Hughes studied under and later worked alongside Brian Sutton-Smith.
Hughes received her Bachelor’s degree in German and Education in 1968 from C. W. Post College in Greenvale, New York. For her Master’s thesis at Cooperstown, Hughes concentrated on play and games, observing and interviewing children for her “Cooperstown Study;” she received her Master’s degree in American Folk Culture in 1976. Hughes then continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was accepted into the PhD program under the tutelage of Dr. Brian Sutton-Smith. There she continued to research children’s behavior, gaming, gender, and relationships. In 1983, she received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, with a dissertation titled Beyond the Rules of the Game: Girls’ Gaming at a Friends’ School.
Sutton-Smith and Hughes presented together at conferences and collaborated on research and articles. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Hughes attended major educational conferences all over the United States to present her work on children’s gaming and play. She held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, the University of Delaware, and Millersville University, before developing the Delaware Alternative Routes to Certification Program at the University of Delaware. Hughes continues to be involved in teacher education and various professional organizations.