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Characteristics of maternal verbal style: Responsiveness and directiveness in two natural contexts

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Twenty mothers' provision of responsive, supportive behavioural directive, and intrusive behavioural and attentional directive speech was investigated during interactions with their children at ages 0;10, 1;1, 1;5 and 1;9 in two natural contexts, free play and bathtime. Issues examined included developmental change, contextual differences, consistency across contexts and stability over time. Analyses revealed increases in frequencies of maternal responsive and supportive directive utterances and decreases in maternal intrusive directives with age. Differences between contexts included more speech and supportive directiveness during play than bath. Responsiveness and intrusive attentional directiveness demonstrated considerable consistency and stability. Mothers provided greater responsiveness to girls than to boys, but more intrusive directives to boys than to girls. Mothers' production of supportive and intrusive directives was unrelated, and their rates of responsive speech were inversely associated with their rates of intrusive directive speech, highlighting the importance of distinguishing between supportive and intrusive directiveness.

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... For example, book reading encourages the use of rich and diverse vocabulary and questioning and is low in directive language (Hoff, 2006;Tamis-LeMonda & Song, 2012;Weizman & Snow, 2001). On the other hand, free play with toys contains more didactic and responsive language than mealtime (Bornstein et al., 1999;Flynn & Masur, 2007) and encourages a high use of verbs. Although less talk might appear during mealtime than other activities, variation among mothers exists and predicts children's vocabulary development (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001;Weizman & Snow, 2001). ...
... Several studies have compared the use of linguistic aspects in CDS as a function of different contexts (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Glas et al., 2018;Yont et al., 2003). For example, Flynn and Masur (2007) examined mothers' responsive and directive speech in two naturalistic contexts: free play and bathtime. ...
... Several studies have compared the use of linguistic aspects in CDS as a function of different contexts (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Glas et al., 2018;Yont et al., 2003). For example, Flynn and Masur (2007) examined mothers' responsive and directive speech in two naturalistic contexts: free play and bathtime. In general, mothers spoke more during free play than bathtime. ...
Article
This study examined the use of various communicative intentions (CIs) of mothers directed to their children in two contexts: playtime and mealtime at two linguistic stages: preverbal and single-word. The study revealed that statements were most prevalent during mealtime, while both statements and directives were prevalent during playtime. Particularly, directives were more frequent during playtime than during mealtime. Moreover, the number of CIs directed to children in the preverbal stage was higher than children in the single-word stage. These findings emphasize the role of context and culture on the mother-child language use in general and CIs in particular.
... Adult directiveness is often viewed in contrast to adult responsiveness, which has emerged as a type of interaction style that is purported to promote an optimal environment for all children. Adult responsiveness is characterized by sensitivity to the child's interests and current focus of attention (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Rimm-Kaufman et al., 2003). Responsive interactional strategies include following the child's lead, waiting for the child to initiate an interaction, encouraging conversational turn-taking, and expanding the child's expressions. ...
... Several studies reveal that mothers can be directive and responsive or directive and intrusive depending on the context (Cielinski, Vaughn, Seifer, & Contreras, 1995;Crawley & Spiker, 1983;Marfo, Dedrick, & Barbour, 1998). Recently, a more nuanced understanding of "directiveness" has emerged, suggesting that certain directives may have particularly useful functions in some contexts, such as literacy instruction (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Justice, Mashburn, Hamre, & Pianta, 2008). Flynn and Masur (2007) attempted to re-conceptualize "directiveness" and argued in favor of a distinction between supportive behavioral directives, which direct the child in the course of an ongoing activity in which he or she is engaged, and intrusive behavioral directives, which are used to constrain or redirect activity, such as shifting the child's focus of attention. ...
... Recently, a more nuanced understanding of "directiveness" has emerged, suggesting that certain directives may have particularly useful functions in some contexts, such as literacy instruction (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Justice, Mashburn, Hamre, & Pianta, 2008). Flynn and Masur (2007) attempted to re-conceptualize "directiveness" and argued in favor of a distinction between supportive behavioral directives, which direct the child in the course of an ongoing activity in which he or she is engaged, and intrusive behavioral directives, which are used to constrain or redirect activity, such as shifting the child's focus of attention. Such attention directives are argued to be intrinsically more intrusive (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Pine, 1992). ...
Article
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This study investigated the role of teacher directiveness in educational dialogues as it relates to several types of dyads and child engagement. The effect of directive teacher behavior, such as the use of instructions and commands, on children's engagement and learning is a controversial matter in the field of educational research. Two types of dyads were examined: typically developing children and their preschool teachers (PreschDyads) and children with Down syndrome and their special education teachers (SpecEdDyads). Fourteen Norwegian dyads participated in the study and were videotaped while solving a construction task. The results indicated higher levels of teacher directiveness in the SpecEdDyads. Children with Down syndrome showed lower levels of engagement with the task than the typically developing children did. However, closer examination of the results of the SpecEdDyads with the highest scores in teacher directiveness revealed that these children scored above their group average on engagement. The pattern differed in the PreschDyads, in which the least directive teachers interacted with the most engaged children. A qualitative analysis of dialogue excerpts suggested that in educational contexts in which a child struggles with goal-oriented engagement, emotionally supportive teacher directives may generate joint problem solving, thereby enabling children to successfully complete cognitively demanding tasks that they may not be able to complete independently. In the PreschDyads, the children appeared to be more self-motivated and less dependent on directive support. These findings extend our knowledge of the qualities and functions of teacher directiveness in educational dialogues by illuminating how the individually adapted use of directives may enhance child engagement and learning.KeywordsTeacher directivenessChild engagementDown syndromeEducational dialogues
... Racial/ethnic minorities and CFs. The aforementioned authoritarian style has been called active-restrictive (Coolahan, McWayne, Fantuzzo, & Grim, 2002;Flynn & Masur, 2007) and has been ascribed to certain racial and SES groups, suggesting a sociocultural influence on child-directed communication Green, 2002;Hall, 1989;Hart & Risley, 2003;Terrell & Terrell, 1996). The work by Stockman (1996) and Hwa-Froelich et al. (2007) also showed that children who were AA enrolled in Head Start might differ in CF frequency from Tough's (1984) mostly European American (EA) sample. ...
... Mothers who were EA had more reporting than those who were AA and LA, but mothers who were LA had more reporting than mothers who were AA. Thus, we accepted the hypothesis that there might be racial/ethnic differences in CF type for mothers, and the differences were consistent with previous descriptions of parenting styles attributed to mothers who are AA (Coolahan et al., 2002;Flynn & Masur, 2007;. ...
... During an interview with Margaret Talbot (2015), Catherine Snow describes the positive side of talkativeness where quantity has often been a proxy for quality, as exemplified by talkative parents having more grammatical variety and sophisticated vocabulary. Whereas, a less responsive, active-restrictive parenting style (Coolahan et al., 2002;Flynn & Masur, 2007; has been characterized by more parent utterances (Paavola et al., 2005) and more often attributed to racial/ ethnic minority parents during teaching. These contrary connotations of increased parental talking are why studying the use of language (CF) is so important, so as not to make inferences of quality based only on quantity (Hall, 1989). ...
Article
Purpose: This study explores whether communicative function (CF: reasons for communicating) use differs by socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity, or gender among preschoolers and their mothers. Method: Mother-preschooler dyads (N = 95) from the National Center for Early Development and Learning's (2005) study of family and social environments were observed during 1 structured learning and free-play interaction. CFs were coded by trained independent raters. Results: Children used all CFs at similar rates, but those from low SES homes produced fewer utterances and less reasoning, whereas boys used less self-maintaining and more predicting. African American mothers produced more directing and less responding than European American and Latino American mothers, and Latino American mothers produced more utterances than European American mothers. Mothers from low SES homes did more directing and less responding. Conclusions: Mothers exhibited more sociocultural differences in CFs than children; this suggests that maternal demographic characteristics may influence CF production more than child demographics at school entry. Children from low SES homes talking less and boys producing less self-maintaining coincided with patterns previously detected in pragmatic literature. Overall, preschoolers from racial/ethnic minority and low SES homes were not less deft with CF usage, which may inform how their pragmatic skills are described. Supplemental material: https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5890255.
... Differences in parent discourse have been attributed to race/ethnicity 1 (Chen, 2011;Coolahan, McWayne, & Fantuzzo, 2002;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Fuligni & Brooks-Gunn, 2013;Green, 2002;Hart & Risley, 2003;Hyter et al., 2015;Lewis, 2000;Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984;Qi, Kaiser, Milan, & Hancock, 2006) and researchers have characterized parenting styles using the CFs of Directing, Reasoning, Responding, and Reporting (Blake, 1993;Hammer & Weiss, 1999;Pellegrini et al., 1987). More responsive and sensitive styles that include Expanding, Explaining, and Supporting (Barbarin & Jean-Baptiste, 2013) positively affect child language (Mesman, van Ijzendoorn & Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2013;Paavola, Kunnar, & Moilanen, 2005;Rowe, 2012;Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2001), while lower level, Activerestrictive (Coolahan et al., 2002) or authoritarian styles consist of adults directing the interaction, leading to less variety in the child's language (Kloth, Janssen, Kraaimaat, & Brutten, 1998). ...
... Crowley et al. (2001) determined that the more explanatory the parents were, the more likely the children would be to produce their own explanations and reasons. If mothers' Reasoning utterances were less explanatory and more directive, though, this may partially explain Reasoning's contribution to lower child performance in the current study, as this represents a less sensitive/responsive parenting style (Coolahan et al., 2002;Flynn & Masur, 2007). Mother Reasoning was often coded with Mother Directing because mothers sometimes used more of a directive style to relate why or 93 how a child should do something. ...
... Poverty predicting lower scores on the OWLS and PPVT-III reflects the possibility that the relationship between consistent language stimulation in the home and learning may be mediated by SES (Jensen, 2009;Lareau, 2004). Because of the intersection of low SES and AA and LA status in the U.S., the results could be reflecting how the OWLS and PPVT-III are standardized tools on which children from low SES minority homes tend to score lower (Coolahan et al., 2002;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Gutman et al., 2003;Hart & Risley, 2003;Rowe, 2012;Teichman & Contreras-Grau, 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
Achievement gaps exist between children from racial/ethnic minority and low SES homes and their peers, yet clear explanations for the gap have been elusive. In addition to vocabulary, some are examining pragmatics to help understand the gap, as functional language can a) reflect how caregivers stimulate language; b) show how preschoolers communicate and; c) affect academic performance. The purpose of this study was to examine links between linguistic performance and the communicative functions (CFs) of typically developing African American, European American, and Latino American preschool boys and girls and their mothers. CFs were coded from one learning and play mother-child interaction (N=95) from the National Center for Early Development and Learning’s (NCEDL, 2005) study of Family and Social Environments. Relationships among CFs, demographics and performance on standardized language, receptive vocabulary, and social competence measures were analyzed. Mother Reporting, mother Reasoning, mother Total Utterances, gender, and poverty predicted performance, while Predicting was the only child CF to predict performance. Associations between gender, poverty, and mothers’ CFs suggest that lower performance for boys and children who are poor may reflect a lack of experience rather than a lack of basic communicative competence, as few child CFs were related to performance. By implication, determinations of language deficits in CLD children should consider that observed difficulty may be due to differences in early exposure to some CFs by their mothers or how teachers are measuring performance.
... A different line of research has focused on the pragmatic properties of maternal interactive style (Paavola-Ruotsalainen, Lehtosaari, Palomäki & Tervo, 2018;Masur, Flynn & Eichorst, 2005; see Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2014, for a review). Collectively, these studies have shown that maternal speech can be used to elicit conversations (McDonald & Pien, 1982), to direct children's actions (Flynn & Masur, 2007), to maintain infant attention (Landry, Smith & Swank, 2006), and/or to provide novel information (Bornstein, Tamis-LeMonda, Tal, Ludemann, Toda, Rahn, Pecheux, Azuma & Vardi, 1992;D'Odorico, Salerni, Cassibba & Jacob, 1999). Working in this direction, Longobardi (1992Longobardi ( , 1995 and Camaioni, Longobardi, Venuti, and Bornstein (1998) developed a coding scheme in which the caregivers' utterances were classified into five exhaustive communicative categories serving different purposes: namely, the TUTORIAL function (maternal comments that support the child's attempts to communicate, maintain the focus of attention or repeat, expand, reformulate, or otherwise acknowledge the child's previous verbal or non-verbal expressions), the DIDACTIC function (maternal comments that transmit new information/knowledge to the child, or confirm the knowledge/ability already available to the child), the Conversational function (maternal comments that promote and maintain the communicative exchange with the child), the CONTROL function (maternal comments that re-orient attention or guide/modify the ongoing action of the child), and the ASYNCHRONOUS function (maternal comments that ignore, or are clearly incongruent, with the child's focus of attention/action). ...
... Researchers have begun to apply the concepts of temporal, relational and contextual stability to the study of maternal mind-mindedness and communicative functions, but relatively few data are available and the overall picture is incomplete. Furthermore, some authors have used the term "consistency" to refer to correlations between maternal measures across different relationships (llingworth, MacLean & Wiggs, 2016) or different contexts (Flynn & Masur, 2007), whereas the term "stability" has been typically used to refer to correlations across different time points. In the present study we will employ the term "stability" in a more uniform way, to highlight the common nature of the underlying construct and the common measurement method (correlational coefficients). ...
... Regarding communicative functions, a recent study by Paavola-Ruotsalainen et al. (2018) assessed four categories of maternal speech at 10 months and again at 2 years: responsive utterances (statements describing persons, actions, feelings, or objects), supportive directives (statements aimed to control the child's physical behavior by suggesting, commanding, or encouraging the child), intrusive behavioral directives (statements aimed to direct the child's focus of attention away from the action or object with which the child is currently engaged), and intrusive attentional directives (statements aimed to redirect or lead the child's focus of attention). The results showed significant stability across age for responsive and supportive utterances, but not for intrusive behavioral directives and intrusive attentional directives (see also Flynn & Masur, 2007). Similar conclusions have been reached by Masur and Turner (2001), who investigated temporal and contextual stability in the interactive behaviors of 10 boys, 10 girls and their mothers during play and bath sessions when children were 10, 13, 17 and 21 months of age. ...
Article
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The present study aimed at investigating the contextual stability, the contextual continuity and the concurrent associations between maternal measures (general language, communicative functions and mind-mindedness) and child measures (total number of word types and tokens) in two different contexts, free-play and mealtime. To this purpose, the interactions occurring between 25 mothers and their 16-month-old children in each context were video-recorded, transcribed and later coded for the selected measures. Significant contextual stability was observed in the mothers’ production of general language measures (total number of utterances, total number of words and MLU), in the children's production of word types and tokens, and in some communicative functions (Tutorial, Control and Asynchronous). No contextual stability was found for the mothers’ production of attuned mind-related comments. For continuity, both mothers and children produced more utterances and words in the free-play than in the mealtime context; the production of attuned mind-related comments and the use of the Control function were also more frequent in the free-play context. Lastly, the analysis of the concurrent correlations indicated that, especially in the mealtime context, the number of words produced by children was positively associated with the number of words produced by mothers and by their use of the Tutorial and Didactic functions, but negatively associated with their use of the Control function. The mothers’ production of attuned mind-related comments bore no relation with children's expressive language. Similarities and differences with previous findings are discussed.
... Early language and literacy skills in preschool children are strong predictors of stable reading, writing, and overall academic skills in elementary school (Lonigan & Shanahan, 2009), and maternal behaviors can influence the type of language opportunities that children are provided. Specifically, four maternal behaviors that are advantageous to child language development are maternal responsiveness (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Hoff, 2006;Tamis-LeMonda, Bornstein, & Baumwell, 2001), nondirective parenting style (Flynn & Masur, 2007), stimulating home environments (Hoff, 2006;Schmitt, Simpson, & Friend, 2011), and stimulating maternal speech (Hoff, 2006). ...
... Early language and literacy skills in preschool children are strong predictors of stable reading, writing, and overall academic skills in elementary school (Lonigan & Shanahan, 2009), and maternal behaviors can influence the type of language opportunities that children are provided. Specifically, four maternal behaviors that are advantageous to child language development are maternal responsiveness (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Hoff, 2006;Tamis-LeMonda, Bornstein, & Baumwell, 2001), nondirective parenting style (Flynn & Masur, 2007), stimulating home environments (Hoff, 2006;Schmitt, Simpson, & Friend, 2011), and stimulating maternal speech (Hoff, 2006). ...
... A negative correlation between maternal redirection and child expressive language and engagement has been demonstrated (Schmitt et al., 2011). Examples of maternal directiveness include persistently demanding behaviors from their child and directing the child's attention or behavior to a new direction (Flynn & Masur, 2007). However, a difference exists between the effect of supportive and intrusive directives on children's cognitive and language development. ...
Article
Research regarding specific strategies adolescent mothers (AMs) may utilize to facilitate early language and emergent literacy skills in their children is lacking. This exploratory study investigated AMs’ perceived use of preselected common language and emergent literacy strategies and correlated their use of these strategies to their children’s language skills. In total, 12 AMs enrolled in an alternative school program were surveyed using the Self-Assessment of Language and Literacy Implementation (SALLI) and also completed a self-report of their child’s language development using the norm-referenced MacArthur-Bates Communication Development Inventories (CDI). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Spearman’s Rank Correlation to determine the significance and relationship between variables. AMs scored low on the SALLI, with the lowest scores specifically in the areas of Directiveness and Home Environment. Results on the CDI indicated that the children had below average receptive and expressive language skills.
... , (Masur, Flynn, & Lloyd, 2013). (Flynn & Masur, 2007), . (Flynn & Masur, 2007), , (Choi & Kim, 2019; S. Kim & Sung, 2002; Y. S. Lee & Kim, 2013;Masur et al., 2013). ...
... (Flynn & Masur, 2007), . (Flynn & Masur, 2007), , (Choi & Kim, 2019; S. Kim & Sung, 2002; Y. S. Lee & Kim, 2013;Masur et al., 2013). ...
... . (Jung & Kim, 2016; W. Park et al., 2018) , (DeLacey & Leonard, 2002;Eryilmaz, 2015;Oh, 2004 . (Flynn & Masur, 2007), (Masur et al., 2013) . ...
... Cielinski et al. 1995). Inconsistent findings may be because of a failure to differentiate between supportive control related to the child's current focus or goal, and intrusive or interfering control unrelated to the child's goal (Flynn & Masur 2007). ...
... For example, Herman & Shantz (1983) defined directiveness broadly as 'the summed frequency of maternal directing, interfering, and restricting', while Cielinski et al. (1995) defined control as 'the parent attempts to lead the (child's) behaviour'. Flynn & Masur (2007) took an alternative approach in a study with TD children by differentiating, as we do, between directives that follow the child's focus of attention or ongoing activity (i.e. responsive utterances and supportive behavioural directives) and those that lead the child's attention away from his or her current focus (i.e. ...
... Furthermore, we compared the differential effects of maternal controlling behaviours on TD and DD children, to inform interventions targeted at children's developmental level. Consistent with previous studies that have successfully distinguished between two kinds of maternal controlling behaviour (Siller & Sigman 2002;Flynn & Masur 2007), we differentiated between maternal controlling behaviours that coincide with ongoing child activities (defined here as 'supportive directiveness') and those that aim to shift the child's activity or focus of attention (defined here as 'interference'). ...
Article
Background: Maternal controlling behaviour has been found to influence child development, particularly in behavioural and emotional regulation. Given the higher rates of interfering parent control found in mothers of children with developmental delays (DD) and Latina mothers, their children could be at increased risk for behavioural and emotional dysregulation. While studies generally support this increased risk for children with DD, findings for Latino children are mixed and often attributed to cultural models of child rearing. The present study sought to determine the moderating roles of child DD and mother ethnicity in determining the relationships between two types of parent control (supportive directiveness and interference) and child dysregulation over time. Methods: The present study, involving 178 3-year old children with DD (n = 80) or typical development (n = 98), examined observed parent control (directive versus interfering) of Latina and Anglo mothers as it relates to change in preschool child dysregulation over 2 years. Results: Interfering parent control was greater for children with DD and also for Latino mothers. Supportive directive parenting generally related to relatively greater decline in child behaviour and emotion dysregulation over time, while interfering parenting generally related to less decline in child behaviour dysregulation over time. In Anglo but not Latino families, these relationships tended to vary as a function of child disability. Conclusions: Parent directives that support, rather than deter, ongoing child activity may promote positive regulatory development. These results particularly hold for children with DD and Latino families, and have implications for parenting practices and intervention.
... Parental responsiveness thus provides a referential framework in which the toddler does not need to shift their attentional focus, increasing their capacity for word learning (Rollins, 2003;Bruner, 1983;Snow, 1999). In contrast, directive parental behaviors-those that attempt to change the child's focus of attention (Shire et al., 2016;Flynn & Masur, 2007)have been negatively correlated with children's subsequent language and social skills (Akhtar et al., 1991;Masur et al., 2005;Nelson, 1973;Patterson et al., 2014;Tomasello et al., 1986). While much research has looked at parent responses to child attentional focus broadly, less is known about parent responses to child communicative behaviors specifically, particularly to those of children diagnosed with ASD. ...
... Parent response to child communicative behavior was used to measure interactional input and was coded at the level of the communicative act from the transcripts of parent-toddler interactions (Pan et al., 2005). This coding system was adapted from Flynn and Masur (2007) and McDuffie and Yoder (2010) and captures the parent's temporally contingent responses to the child's communicative behaviors. Temporally contingent responses occur within 3 seconds of a child communicative behavior (McDuffie & Yoder, 2010). ...
... As suggested by Manning (2019), a single interaction may not be representative of the ongoing interactions between a parent and child. Further, social interactions between parent and child occur in various contexts and it may be appropriate to observe dyads in more than one of these contexts (Flynn & Masur, 2007). However, the structure of the parent-toddler interaction we employed allowed for a variety of naturalistic activities to occur, as chosen by the dyad. ...
Article
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Background and aims: The quality of parent verbal input-diverse vocabulary that is well-matched to the child's developmental level within interactions that are responsive to their interests-has been found to positively impact child language skills. For typically developing (TD) children, there is evidence that more advanced linguistic and social development differentially elicits higher quality parent input, suggesting a bidirectional relationship between parent and child. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if toddlers with ASD also differentially elicit parental verbal input by (1) analyzing the quality of parent input to the communicative behavior of their toddlers with ASD, (2) examining if parents respond differentially to more advanced toddler communicative behavior, as measured by the coordination of multiple communicative behaviors, and (3) exploring the relationship between parental responsiveness to child communicative behaviors and change in child communication and social skills. Methods: Participants were 77 toddlers with ASD age 18-39 months and a parent who participated in a larger RCT. Ten-minute parent-toddler interactions were recorded prior to a 12-week intervention. Parent response to child communicative behaviors was coded following each child communicative behavior as no acknowledgment, responsive, directive, or nonverbal acknowledgment. Parent number of different words and difference between parent and child MLU in words were calculated separately for responsive and directive parent utterances. Child growth in language and social skills was measured using the Vineland II Communication and Socialization domain scores, respectively. Results: (1) Parents were largely responsive to their toddler's communication. When being responsive (as opposed to directive), parents used a greater number of different words within utterances that were well-matched to child language; (2) when toddlers coordinated communicative behaviors (versus producing an isolated communicative behavior), parents were more likely to respond and their replies were more likely to be responsive; and (3) parent responsiveness to child coordinated communication was significantly correlated with change in Vineland II Socialization but not Communication. A unique role of gaze coordinated child communication in eliciting responsive parental behaviors and improving growth in child social skills emerged. Conclusions: Our results support a bidirectional process between responsive parent verbal input and the social development of toddlers with ASD, with less sophisticated child communicative behaviors eliciting lower quality parent input.Implications: Our findings highlight the critical role of early parent-mediated intervention for children with ASD generally, and to enhance eye gaze through parent responsivity more specifically.
... The effects of perinatal risk factors on cognitive development can be aggravated or tempered by the quality of the social environment, in particular by the way a mother interacts with her infant [11]. Two parenting behaviors that are frequently investigated in relation to child development are sensitive responsiveness (i.e., the degree to which a parent focuses on, and interprets correctly and responds contingently to the infant's signals) and directiveness (i.e., the degree to which a parent selects topics of conversation or play, uses imperatives and prompts to control or regulate the child's attention or behavior) [12,13]. Although directiveness and sensitive responsiveness are often negatively related, a highly sensitive responsive mother may use some directive strategies as well, and a very unresponsive mother may use little directive strategies [14]. ...
... Perhaps effects of sensitive responsiveness will be found in more heterogeneous samples. We recommend future studies to use a combined measure of directiveness and sensitive responsiveness when investigating their predictive value, with a distinction between supportive and intrusive directiveness (i.e., directives that either support or redirect the attentional focus of attention) [13]. Also, future studies are recommended to use a more extensive battery of delayed response tasks to strengthen conclusions. ...
Article
Objective: Problems in early development of executive functioning may underlie the vulnerability and individual variability of infants born preterm for behavioral and learning problems. Parenting behaviors may aggravate or temper this increased risk for dysfunction. This study assessed how maternal parenting behaviors predict individual differences in early development of executive functioning in infants born preterm, and whether this varies with infant temperament, i.e., self-regulation. Methods: Participants were 76 infants born preterm (≤36weeks' gestation and <2500g birth weight) and their mothers. Maternal sensitive responsiveness and directiveness were observed during a mother-infant interaction situation at 7, 10 and 14months corrected age. At the same ages, executive functioning was measured using the A-not-B task. An infant self-regulation questionnaire (IBQ-R) was completed by mothers at 7months. Results: After controlling for perinatal risk factors, Multivariate Latent Growth Modeling showed that consistently higher levels of maternal directiveness predicted a stronger increase in A-not-B performance, which did not vary with infant self-regulation. No relationship between maternal sensitive responsiveness and development in A-not-B performance in infants born preterm was found. Conclusions: These results suggest that preterm infants' early executive functioning development in the first year of life may benefit from a more and consistent directive approach by their mothers. These findings have important implications for early intervention programs aimed at facilitating preterm infants' development.
... Mobile sensing is an emerging area in which sensor data from mobile phones and other portable devices can help understand human behavior (Castro et al. 2015;Lane et al. 2010;Madan et al. 2010). Conventional techniques for assessing directive behaviors are based on observations, typically through observational video analysis (Flynn and Masur 2007), which can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and prone to observer bias. • Contribution 2: We provide empirical evidence that task complexity can have effects on parents' behaviors. ...
... 4 Specialized software such as those has been reported to reduce observer bias (Borel et al. 2011) when compared to manual analysis or be comparable to traditional standard instruments (Spielholz et al. 2001). Parents' behaviors are typically assessed through observation (Flynn and Masur 2007;Sterling and Warren 2014), either directly or through video analysis. Observers use a protocol that includes the type of events, codes or aspects of interest they must look for in the video or images shown. ...
Article
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One of the main factors affecting autonomy in children with disabilities is parents’ behaviors. Understanding parents’ behaviors is important for their effects over time. However, measuring and quantifying parents’ behaviors through ubiquitous technology has remained largely unexplored. In this work, we use mobile sensing to monitor behaviors in parents of individuals with Down syndrome. Through our approach, we identified some behaviors that have been reported to be associated with directive and facilitating behaviors of mothers of children with Down syndrome. We also discuss how this mobile sensing-based approach can be used as a supplementary technique to enhance behavioral analysis with these types of populations. This work offers a promising approach for deploying mobile sensing technology for advancing research in this area.
... Before delving into the specific justifications for selecting maternal PLOC and PSE as constructs for analysis, it is important to understand the context in which this study was set: a one-on-one parent-training program focused on preschool language and pre-literacy input. Research has demonstrated that high-quality, early language interactions tend to be characterized by high levels of maternal responsivity and the use of directives that do not require a child to shift his or her attention and/or are not for the purpose of behavior management (Akhtar et al., 1991;Alper, 2012;Baxendale & Hesketh, 2003;Brady et al., 2009;Buschmann et al., 2009;Fewell & Deutscher, 2004;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Girolametto & Pearce, 1996;Kaiser et al. 1996;Masur et al., 2005;McCathren et al., 1995;Murray & Hornbaker, 1997;Peterson et al., 2005;Pine, 1992;Tamis-Lemonda et al., 2001;Warren et al., 2010;Yoder et al., 2001;Yoder & Warren, 1999). Furthermore, the quality and quantity of the early language input children receive impacts their language and later literacy development (e.g., Hart & Risley, 1995;Rowe, 2008;Rowe, 2012). ...
... Research focusing on early language development across contexts (such as reading, play, and daily care) has supported the importance of caregiver input that is responsive, or constructively directive during parent-child interactions (Akhtar, Dunham, & Dunham, 1991;Alper, 2012;Baxendale & Hesketh, 2003;Brady et al., 2009;Buschmann et al., 2009;Fewell & Deutscher, 2004;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Girolametto & Pearce, 1996;Kaiser et al. 1996;Masur, Flynn, & Eichorst, 2005;McCathren, Yoder, & Warren 1995;Murray & Hornbaker, 1997;Peterson et al., 2005;Pine, 1992;Tamis-Lemonda, Bornstein, & Baumwell, 2001;Yoder, McCathren, Warren, & Watson, 2001;Yoder & Warren, 1999;Warren, Brady, Sterling, Fleming, & Marquis, 2010). Inherent to responsive language input is the idea that the child is guiding the interaction based on his or her interests and that the caregiver is providing topically contiguous and temporally contingent input. ...
... The above-mentioned studies generally link the behaviour of dyads at a given time to later language and cognitive development of children. A different line of research has focused on a given linguistic feature of language development, for example the nouns bias (Choi 2000, Kern et al. 2012, Altınkamış et al. 2014, or on mothers' conversational style , Haden and Fivush 1996, Kloth et al. 1998, Flynn and Masur 2007, Golindoff et al. 2015, Kelly et al. 2015 in order to track variation or show stability across contexts. Such studies have shown, for instance, that mothers used more action-oriented utterances and hence more verbs in toy-play contexts than in book-reading contexts (Kern et al. 2012). ...
... On the whole, utterances directed to boys are shorter across all contexts, with smaller differences in maintenance contexts, and larger differences in solitary contexts. This may be linked with differences in mothers' verbal style (responsiveness and directiveness) which have been evidenced as a function of gender: mothers' responsiveness was shown to be stronger with girls while directiveness prevailed with boys (Flynn and Masur 2007). Finally, we used nouns and verbs as a well-described index of cross-linguistic differences, and one that has often been shown to vary across contexts. ...
Article
Quantity and quality of input affect language development, but input features also depend on the context of language emission. Previous research has described mother-child interactions and their impact on language development according to activity types like mealtimes, book reading, and free play. Nevertheless, few studies have sought to quantify activity types in naturalistic datasets including less-studied languages and cultures. Our research questions are the following: we ask whether regularities emerge in the distribution of activity types across languages and recordings, and whether activities have an impact on mothers' linguistic productions. We analyse input for two children per language, at three developmental levels. We distinguish three activity types: solitary, social and maintenance activities, and measure mothers' linguistic productions within each type. Video-recorded activities differ across families and developmental levels. Linguistic features of child-directed speech (CDS) also vary across activities – notably for measures of diversity and complexity – which points to complex interactions between activity and language.
... Thus we conducted a K-means cluster analysis technique to classify cases into subgroups based on a set of specific attributes (Easterbrooks et al., 2005): emotional responsiveness, maternal structuring, and diversity of maternal verbal input. The proportion of diverse maternal verbal input, total emotional responsiveness score, and amount of maternal structuring were chosen to enter into the cluster analysis because prior research has shown positive associations between mothers who respond and adapt to their infants' behaviors and vary their verbal input to match their infants' focus of attention, and later brain (Bernier et al., 2016) and cognitive development (e.g., DeLoache and DeMendoza, 1987;Rogoff, 1990;Farrant and Reese, 2000;Flynn and Masur, 2007). The cluster analysis included measures scored for 48 of the mother-infant dyads in the sample using a two-cluster model, as a sample size of 48 is sufficient for classifying cases into two clusters (Stata Manual, 2007). ...
... It was both the infants' verbal and non-verbal responses, and the mothers' sensitivity to their infants' interests that contributed to the high level of emotional responsiveness. Thus, infants might have benefited more from the verbal and non-verbal input of mothers who timed their behaviors to ensure they had their infants' attention (Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2001;Flynn and Masur, 2007). Emotional responsiveness consistently predicts future cognitive, language, and social outcomes (Bornstein, 1989;Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2001;Bornstein et al., 2008;Kaplan et al., 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Interactional quality has been shown to enhance learning during book reading and play, but has not been examined during touch screen use. Learning to apply knowledge from a touch screen is complex for infants because it involves transfer of learning between a two-dimensional (2D) screen and three-dimensional (3D) object in the physical world. This study uses a touch screen procedure to examine interactional quality measured via maternal structuring, diversity of maternal language, and dyadic emotional responsiveness and infant outcomes during a transfer of learning task. Fifty 15-month-old infants and their mothers participated in this semi-naturalistic teaching task. Mothers were given a 3D object, and a static image of the object presented on a touch screen. Mothers had 5 min to teach their infant that a button on the real toy works in the same way as a virtual button on the touch screen (or vice versa). Overall, 64% of infants learned how to make the button work, transferring learning from the touch screen to the 3D object or vice versa. Infants were just as successful in the 3D to 2D transfer direction as they were in the 2D to 3D transfer direction. A cluster analysis based on emotional responsiveness, the proportion of diverse maternal verbal input, and amount of maternal structuring resulted in two levels of interactional quality: high quality and moderate quality. A logistic regression revealed the level of interactional quality predicted infant transfer. Infants were 19 times more likely to succeed and transfer learning between the touch screen and real object if they were in a high interactional quality dyad, even after controlling for infant activity levels. The present findings suggest that interactional quality between mother and infant plays an important role in making touch screens effective teaching tools for infants’ learning.
... Object play likewise contains high-quality language input. Mothers direct more didactic and responsive language to their 21-month-olds during object play than during feeding (Bornstein, Tamis-LeMonda, & Haynes, 1999;Flynn & Masur, 2007). And, because children produce many manual actions as they play with objects-pressing buttons, flipping switches, pushing cars, feeding dolls-object play might result in high exposure to verbs. ...
... Parents who consider feeding and grooming as a time to get things done-eating, washing, dressing -might talk little during these activities. In fact, didactic speech during feeding is lower than it is during booksharing or play (Bornstein et al., 1999;Flynn & Masur, 2007). Although language overall might be lower during feeding than other activities, variation among mothers predicts children's subsequent vocabulary development (Beals, 1997;Dickinson & Tabors, 2001;Weizman & Snow, 2001). ...
Article
Full-text available
Everyday activities are replete with contextual cues for infants to exploit in the service of learning words. Nelson's (1985) script theory guided the hypothesis that infants participate in a set of predictable activities over the course of a day that provide them with opportunities to hear unique language functions and forms. Mothers and their firstborn 13‐month‐old infants (N = 40) were video‐recorded during everyday activities at home. Transcriptions and coding of mothers’ speech to infants—time‐locked to activities of feeding, grooming, booksharing, object play, and transition—revealed that the amount, diversity, pragmatic functions, and semantic content of maternal language systematically differed by activity. The activities of everyday life shape language inputs to infants in ways that highlight word meaning.
... This binary distinction in parental behaviours uses the same types of criteria as multiple other studies addressing parental responsivity and directiveness in typically-developing children (e.g. Flynn & Masur, 2007;Guzell & Vernon-Feagans, 2004;Masur et al., 2013), and children with disabilities (Haebig et al., 2013;. The only difference reported in other reported responsivity and directiveness schemes from the aggregate responsivity or directiveness scales in the present study was the use of the term ''intrusive directiveness'' (Flynn & Masur, 2007) to distinguish the term directiveness as coded for this study from follow-in prescriptions or responsive directiveness coded by other researchers (e.g. ...
... Flynn & Masur, 2007;Guzell & Vernon-Feagans, 2004;Masur et al., 2013), and children with disabilities (Haebig et al., 2013;. The only difference reported in other reported responsivity and directiveness schemes from the aggregate responsivity or directiveness scales in the present study was the use of the term ''intrusive directiveness'' (Flynn & Masur, 2007) to distinguish the term directiveness as coded for this study from follow-in prescriptions or responsive directiveness coded by other researchers (e.g. Akhtar et al., 1991). ...
Article
Purpose: The aim of the present study was to determine if parent responsiveness to their children with complex communication needs (CCN) during naturalistic play changed over an 18-month period and determine if any such changes were influenced by the child's overall level of receptive and expressive language development, motor development or differing play contexts. This longitudinal information is important for early intervention speech-language pathologists and parents of children with developmental disabilities for whom the use of parent-directed responsivity interventions may be encouraged. Method: Over an 18-month period, 37 parents of young children who had physical and/or neurological disabilities participated in three home-based parent-child play episodes. Videotapes of each play episode were extracted and coded. Result: Results indicated parents who were initially responsive showed a significant tendency to continue to be so. Early on, parents were significantly more likely to be directive during object play than social play and significantly more likely to interact responsively during social play than object play. Conclusion: Parents of children with developmental disabilities were not consistently less responsive to their children based on motor or language capabilities. Previous reports of higher parental directiveness with children who have developmental disabilities may be attributable to object-based play interactions.
... This binary distinction in parental behaviours uses the same types of criteria as multiple other studies addressing parental responsivity and directiveness in typically-developing children (e.g. Flynn & Masur, 2007;Guzell & Vernon-Feagans, 2004;Masur et al., 2013), and children with disabilities (Haebig et al., 2013;. The only difference reported in other reported responsivity and directiveness schemes from the aggregate responsivity or directiveness scales in the present study was the use of the term ''intrusive directiveness'' (Flynn & Masur, 2007) to distinguish the term directiveness as coded for this study from follow-in prescriptions or responsive directiveness coded by other researchers (e.g. ...
... Flynn & Masur, 2007;Guzell & Vernon-Feagans, 2004;Masur et al., 2013), and children with disabilities (Haebig et al., 2013;. The only difference reported in other reported responsivity and directiveness schemes from the aggregate responsivity or directiveness scales in the present study was the use of the term ''intrusive directiveness'' (Flynn & Masur, 2007) to distinguish the term directiveness as coded for this study from follow-in prescriptions or responsive directiveness coded by other researchers (e.g. Akhtar et al., 1991). ...
Article
Some evidence suggests the ability to rapidly learn new words may be a weakness for late talkers and could potentially be predictive of later language outcomes. Although a limited capacity for rapidly learning words may predict future outcomes for late talkers, few investigators have examined late talkers' word learning capabilities. No investigators have published data concerning expressive nonverbal word learning, which might provide insight into underlying deficits for this population. This study investigated rapid learning of words in late talkers and participants included nine 2-year-olds (three late talkers with expressive-only language delay, three late talkers with expressive and receptive language delay, and three typically-developing children) in a single subject research design with a baseline and follow up repeated across participants. The research project explored how novel word requests and comprehension using picture symbols were learned across the three participant groups. In addition, the word form characteristics (e.g., phonotactic probability) influence on word learning was explored. The outcomes of this study were: 1) Current dichotomous characterizations of late talkers as expressive-only and expressive and receptive language delayed did not account for patterns of learning to request or comprehend novel words. One late talker identified as expressive-only language delay demonstrated little learning and one late talker identified as expressive and receptive delayed demonstrated a skilled learning pattern. 2) In support of previous research findings, the presence of picture symbols facilitated spoken language use for all three of the late talkers with expressive-only language delay to levels commiserate with typically developing peers. 3) Typically-developing children showed a learning advantage for novel words with high phonotactic probability in nonverbal requesting and spontaneous verbal productions, but the late talking participants did not. This result supports the theory that late talkers may have different underlying language competence from typically developing children.
... The naturalistic approach forsakes experimental control in exchange for what is viewed to be an ecologically valid and varied picture of infant language experiences. It yields samples of language across a range of contexts, including mealtime, bathtime, dress, play, and so forth, which are shown to affect the amount, content, and/or structure of language to children (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Hoff, 2003Hoff, , 2006Hoff-Ginsberg, 1991;Lucariello & Nelson, 1986;Soderstrom & Wittebolle, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Methods can powerfully affect conclusions about infant experiences and learning. Data from naturalistic observations may paint a very different picture of learning and development from those based on structured tasks, as illustrated in studies of infant walking, object permanence, intention understanding, and so forth. Using language as a model system, we compared the speech of 40 mothers to their 13-month-old infants during structured play and naturalistic home routines. The contrasting methods yielded unique portrayals of infant language experiences, while simultaneously underscoring cross-situational correspondence at an individual level. Infants experienced substantially more total words and different words per minute during structured play than they did during naturalistic routines. Language input during structured play was consistently dense from minute to minute, whereas language during naturalistic routines showed striking fluctuations interspersed with silence. Despite these differences, infants' language experiences during structured play mirrored the peak language interactions infants experienced during naturalistic routines, and correlations between language inputs in the two conditions were strong. The implications of developmental methods for documenting the nature of experiences and individual differences are discussed.
... Although rate of maternal behaviours was calculated, the amount and diversity of maternal language was not controlled for in the analysis. Additionally, toy-play may not have represented the most typical, nor frequent, interaction in a child's day (Flynn & Masur, 2007). Furthermore, the actual process of videoing using unfamiliar toys may have been limiting, particularly for minority groups (Ispa et al., 2004). ...
Article
Purpose: Evidence suggests that children living in adversity are at greater risk of poorer language than their peers with the quality of parental interactions potentially mediating this association. Studies typically measure the mediatory impact of generic interaction styles making it difficult to discern which particular aspects of the interaction are facilitating language. This study aims to bridge this gap by identifying specific maternal behaviours associated with concurrent infant communication, in a cohort of 12-month old infants and their mothers experiencing adversity. Method: A total of 249 mother–infant free-play videos were collected from women experiencing adversity in Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. From those videos, specific maternal behaviours, infant communication acts and the interaction quality were coded. Result: Maternal verbal imitations uniquely predicted concurrent use of infant vocalisations, total words and unique words. Furthermore, the more fluent and connected the mother–infant dyad, the stronger the association between imitations and all three infant measures. Conclusion: Frequent use of maternal imitations, within highly connected mother–infant dyads, may help mediate the impact of adversity on early communication. This information is important for early years professionals working with at-risk populations in augmenting current knowledge of risk and protective factors related to early language.
... Regarding study limitations, there are several of which should be acknowledged. Although observational measures may be more objective than parent report (Hawes & Dadds, 2006), 5 min of free play may not have entirely reflected the capacity of the mother or child (Flynn & Masur, 2007). Additionally, the process of videoing could have influenced the interaction between the communication partners, changing their typical dynamic. ...
Article
Variations in parenting have been suggested as contributing to a higher prevalence of language difficulties in children experiencing economic, environmental, and social adversity. Within these cohorts, the contribution of responsive and intrusive parenting to child language has been investigated; specific responsive and intrusive behaviors encapsulated within these parenting styles have yet to be fully examined. Additionally, the role of the mother–child dynamic in moderating mother–child associations has also not been explored. This study aimed to augment current research by identifying specific responsive and intrusive maternal behaviors associated with child language in a cohort experiencing adversity, as well as exploring the role of the fluency and connectedness of mother–child conversation in moderating associations (n = 249). Specific behaviors and the fluency and connectedness of the mother–child interaction were coded from free-play videos at child age 12 months. Child language measures were derived from transcripts of free play at 24 months. Linear regression models were used to examine maternal–child associations. The moderating role of fluency and connectedness was then explored. Maternal imitations were positively associated with the child's total words; successful redirectives were negatively associated with the child's mean length of turn. Both associations were moderated by the fluency and connectedness of the interaction.
... Early, frequent, high-quality parent-child communicative interactions are critical for developing strong language and preliteracy skills (Cartmill et al., 2013;Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015;Ramírez-Esparza, García-Sierra, & Kuhl, 2014;Romeo et al., 2018;Rowe, 2012) skills that are foundational to later academic and life success (Dickinson, Golinkoff, & Hirsh-Pasek, 2010;Hoff, 2013). Such interactions are characterized by temporally contingent and topically contiguous parental responses, the use of directives that do not require the child to shift attention, the presence of rich language structures, and varied exposure to print concepts (Bibok et al., 2009;Bornstein et al., 2008;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015;Masur, Flynn, & Eichorst, 2005;Piasta, Justice, McGinty, & Kaderavek, 2012;Tamis-LeMonda, Kuchirko, & Song, 2014). We used these evidence-based qualities of parent-child communicative interaction as a basis for selecting the training targets in our study. ...
... 즉 어머니와 영아의 상호작용을 실험실에 서 연구하는 경우는 가정에서 하는 경우와 차이가 있을 것이다 (Brookhart & Hock, 1976;O'Brien, Johnson, & Anderson-Goetz, 1989;Ross, Kagan, Zelazo, & Kotelchuck, 1975). 특히 어머니의 언 어적 행동은 가정 내의 일상 맥락과 놀이 맥락에 서도 차이가 나타나 (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Kim, 2000;Nelson, 1973;Turner & Masur, 2001) 어머 니의 언어적 행동은 영아와 어머니가 속한 다양 한 맥락을 고려해야 한다. ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among infants` nonverbal communication, maternal verbal behaviors and the infants` acquisition of vocabulary. The subjects were 93 pairs of 10 to 18 months old infants and their mothers residing in the Seoul and GyeongGi-Do area. The results were as follows : (1) In terms of the infants` nonverbal communicative means, it appeared that the group of 16~18 month olds utilized more gesture and vocalization. As regards the infants` nonverbal communicative functions in terms of social behavior and joint attention, the group of 16~18 month olds was found to perform more of the behaviors from this category than the other groups. There was a significant difference in the maternal verbal behavior among the different age groups. (2) Among the infants` nonverbal communicative means, gesture and vocalization, there appeared to be a significant relationship between vocalization and the infants` acquisition of vocabulary. In addition, there was an important relationship between the high usage of infants` nonverbal communicative functions with behavior regulation and the high usage of joint attention and the successful acquisition of vocabulary among infants. (3) Social play, which is a maternal verbal behavior categorized as one of the strategies for getting infants` attention, was significantly related to the acquisition of infants` vocabulary. (4) When mothers used more imitating sounds and mimetic words, requests for information, descriptions, conventional social expressions, and imitation to enhance responsiveness, infants were found to have acquired a larger vocabulary.
... Mothers were more didactically responsive to their infants during play than during mealtime, in accordance with the U.S. perception of play as a context for learning (Bornstein, Tamis-LeMonda, & Haynes, 1999). Others also find that mothers display more encouraging and directive responsive language to their infants during play than during mealtime (Flynn & Masur, 2007). In another investigation, U.S. middle-income mothers of 12-and 18-month olds interacted with their infants in a laboratory context of motor risk (i.e., encouraging or discouraging their infants from walking/crawling down slopes of varying slants). ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we examine the sociocultural context of infant development, with primary emphasis on parent–infant communicative interactions. We focus on the cultural context of development as societies (and local communities) around the world have different sets of views and practices around raising children. We focus on infancy, as it involves rapid brain growth and impressive achievements in language and social communication. We focus on parent–infant communicative interactions because infants' social experiences occur primarily within the family setting and interactions with family members are a core conduit for sharing culture. We begin with five starting principles that guide our thinking on cultural similarities and differences in parent–infant communicative interactions. We then show how the everyday settings and activities of families—referred to as daily routines—frame the types of communicative interactions that parents have with their young. We next describe cultural variations in three aspects of parent–infant communicative interactions: modes of communication (i.e., language, gaze, touch, gesture), parents' communicative accommodations to infants (i.e., support of infants' expressions and understandings), and the content of interactions (i.e., the functions and topics of communications). We conclude with take-home messages and next steps in the study of parent–infant interactions in cultural context. Keywords: parent–infant interactions; communicative development; language development; culture; family context
... The application of social-interactionist theory and its offshoots (i.e. models based on the importance of responsive and constructively-directive early language input) can be seen in a variety of observational/developmental early-language input literature (Akhtar et al., 1991;Fewell and Deutscher, 2004;Flynn and Masur, 2007;Masur et al., 2005;McCathren, Yoder, and Warren 1995;Murray and Hornbaker, 1997;Pine, 1992;Raviv et al., 2004;Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2001;Warren et al., 2010;Yoder et al., 2001;Yoder and Warren, 1999) and experimental early-language input literature (Baxendale and Hesketh, 2003;Brady et al., 2009;Buschmann et al., 2008;Girolametto and Pearce, 1996;Kaiser et al. 1996;Peterson et al., 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Educators face the challenge of creating classroom environments that are physically, socially, and didactically ‘communication friendly’ for children with diverse communication needs and differences. In this article we propose that (1) communication and the development of agency are bi-directionally linked and, therefore, (2) the promotion of agency through physical and social-didactic strategies will support the establishment of communication friendly classrooms. We draw upon evidence from the developmental and intervention literatures to illustrate the relationship between communication and agency. Further, we provide examples of specific strategies for promoting a child’s agency through physical and social-didactic approaches in the classroom. These strategies are applicable to children with varying communication needs, differences, delays, and/or disorders.
... From the complex categories, "parent prompts" predicted both receptive and expressive language whilst "encouraging" language predicted expressive language six months later. These findings support previous research that has demonstrated the significant value of these strategies to support early child language development by encouraging the child to verbalise via a variety of different questioning techniques and through praise, repetition and expansions (Hart & Risley, 1995;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Levikis et al., 2015;Masur et al., 2005;Merz et al., 2015;Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2014). The findings obtained for the two simple indices of parental language (total words and total different words) also corroborate previous research that has indicated a positive relationship between the overall quantity and diversity of parental language and subsequent gains in child language outcomes (Goldin-Meadow et al., 2014;Hart & Risley, 1995;Huttenlocher et al., 2010;Rowe, 2012). ...
Article
Poor language skills can have a negative effect on a developing child if not identified early. Current strategies to identify families with children who may need additional support are limited, and may not detect child language problems before they become entrenched. The present study explores observed indices of parental language as a means of identifying families whose children are at risk of poor outcomes. Fifteen-minute observations of 68 parent–toddler dyads were coded for 11 categories of parent language. Three complex measures were developed; parent prompts, encouraging and critical language. Two simple language indices (parent total words and total different words) were calculated for comparison. Two complex measures evidenced acceptable levels of inter-rater reliability, reasonable stability over time and some construct validity. “Parent prompts” predicted toddler receptive and expressive language six months later. In comparison, the two simple measures were more reliable and stable over time and just as predictive of toddler language. The findings suggest observed parental language could prove useful in identifying high-risk families in need of specific support and simple measures could be integrated into existing assessment frameworks used by early years services. Further research is required to establish the feasibility of integrating such methods into current service delivery.
... Although rate of maternal behaviours was calculated, the amount and diversity of maternal language was not controlled for in the analysis. Additionally, toy-play may not have represented the most typical, nor frequent, interaction in a child's day (Flynn & Masur, 2007). Furthermore, the actual process of videoing using unfamiliar toys may have been limiting, particularly for minority groups (Ispa et al., 2004). ...
... Parental responsiveness is characterized by paying attention to the child, adapting to the child's changing needs or interests, and responding to the child's attempted communication and emotions (Wooldridge & Shapka, 2012), including physical touch and verbal responses. Previous studies have indicated that maternal responsiveness is linked to developmental outcomes in social, cognitive, and language domains (Flynn & Masur, 2006), increased behavior regulation (Von Suchodoletz, Trommsdorff, & Heikamp, 2011), child self-efficacy, motivation, and secure attachment (Tamis-LeMonda, Bornstein, & Baumwell, 2001). Important to this study, maternal responsiveness also tends to be related to higher levels of parent-child discourse (Laible, 2004;Putallaz & Heflin, 1990). ...
Article
Early conversations are an important source in shaping children's cognitive and emotional development, and it is vital to understand how parents use media as a platform to engage in conversations with their young children and what might predict the quality of these interactions. Thus, in the current study we explored the nature of parent–child discourse while engaging in media (i.e., joint media engagement) with infants, and how parent (empathic concern and responsiveness) and child (negative emotionality and regulatory capacity) variables might be associated with the quality of engagement. The current study consisted of 269 infants (50% female, M age = 17.09 months, SD = 3.93; 59% White) and their primary caregiver (98% mothers) who engaged in a variety of in‐home tasks and parental questionnaires. Results established three meaningful codes for both parent and child that assessed positive and negative joint media engagement. Further, results suggested that parental empathic concern was associated with positive parent and child media engagement, while child negative emotionality was associated with lower levels of distraction. Discussion focuses on the importance of studying parent–child discourse in the context of joint media engagement and recommends limiting media exposure before 18 months of age.
... The conversationeliciting style is known to support language development, as parents who frequently ask questions make kids produce more talk. There is less clarity on the impact of directive conversational style on child development (see Flynn and Masur 2007). ...
Chapter
Family is the initial and the primary setting for the socialization of children. This chapter deals with everyday family conversations with children in different cultural and interactional contexts. The focus is on variations in the amount and cultural meaning of the speech addressed to children, as well as on children’s participation in family conversations and the content highlighted. I provide examples from our own comparative research as well as studies of other researchers about culturally-valued ways of talking with children. Theoretical conceptions about language acquisition and development stress the importance of a language-rich environment and child’s conversational experiences in one-to-one dyadic interactions. However, dyadic interactions with children and child-adjusted language use are not that common in non-Western parts of the world. Moreover, the importance placed on talking versus silence, and cultural habits of talking also vary within Western cultures. The chapter closes with the conclusion that more investigations in diverse cultural contexts are needed to change our theoretical conceptions about the impact of family conversations on child development.
... In educational settings, a systematic use of directive communication by the teacher has been observed as negatively related to the educators' responsiveness (i.e., the extent to which the educator responds and attends to a child's self-initiated move; cf. among others, Flynn & Masur, 2007) which, in turn, appears to be positively related to children's initiatives and engagement in talk (Mercer & Howe, 2012;Rojas-Drummond et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Early childhood educational centers (ECEC) are contexts where young children make their first contact with specific, culturally determined rules, practices, and values. Only a few studies have analyzed in-depth the practices through which the educators direct the children's action and attention while they are performing routine educational activities. By means of detailed transcription of educators-children conversations and Conversation Analytic methodology, this work examines a set of videorecorded interactions collected in one Italian ECE center ("nido"), particularly focusing on the verbal and multimodal resources employed by ECEC teachers as they manage episodes, where the children diverge from an expected course of action. Analyses reveal that the educators employ a variety of multimodal resources to orchestrate the child's attention and actions toward the desired course of activity, which open spaces where the child's agency, however more or less strongly reprimanded, is admitted and negotiated.
... This is a drawback of all observational research and must be balanced alongside the strengths and limitations of other measurement options. It is also important to note that toy-play may not have represented the most typical, nor frequent, interaction in a child's day (Flynn & Masur, 2007), plus maternal input during toy play may not reflect input provided in other contexts, such as reading or snack time (Hoff-Ginsborg, 1991). ...
Article
Specific features of adult linguistic input may play a larger, or smaller role, at different child ages, across different language outcomes, in different cohorts. This prospective, longitudinal study explored associations between the quantity and quality (i.e. diversity and responsiveness) of maternal linguistic input and child language. This study was derived from an Australian population-based intervention trial. Participants were mother–child dyads at risk of experiencing social adversity (n = 136). Home visits were conducted at 24 and 36 months. At the 24-month visit, mother–child free-play videos were collected. Seven aspects of maternal linguistic input were measured from videos: imitations, expansions, wh-questions, labels, word types, word tokens and mean length of utterance (MLU). Child language was assessed using a standardized measure at 36 months. Maternal MLU and imitations were associated with overall language and expressive vocabulary scores; wh-questions were associated with receptive language scores. By exploring quantity and quality, we can appreciate the differential contribution of adult linguistic input to early language abilities in different groups of children. Our findings highlight how imitations of early words/sounds and asking children wh-questions may foster expressive and receptive language development. These findings may be helpful to consider when selecting strategies for use in parent-implemented language promotion activities.
... In our study we aimed to include all constructs found to predict subsequent child development, and which could be used in different age groups across early development (5-36 months). Therefore, scales from existing micro and macro measures were adapted and combined: Coding Interactive Behavior (Feldman, 1998), coding scheme for the Communication Play Protocol (Adamson & Bakeman, 1999;Adamson, Bakeman, Deckner, & Nelson, 2012), Dyadic Communication Measure for Autism (Aldred, Green, & Adams, 2004), Erickson coding scales (Erickson, Sroufe, & Egeland, 1985), Manchester Assessment of Caregiver-Infant Interaction (Wan et al., 2012(Wan et al., , 2013, Maternal Behavior Rating Scale (Mahoney & Perales, 2003;Mahoney, Powell, & Finger, 1986), Siller's and Sigman's coding scheme (Siller & Sigman, 2002), Social Interaction Rating Scale (Ruble, McDuffie, King, & Lorenz, 2008), infant coding scales (Clifford & Dissanayake, 2009), scaffolding scales (Baker, Fenning, Crnic, Baker, & Blacher, 2007;Dieterich, Assel, Swank, Smith, & Landry, 2006;Hoffman, Crnic, & Baker, 2006), and coding maternal response behaviours (Flynn & Masur, 2007;Lloyd & Masur, 2014). Before the actual application of the coding scheme, there was a period of extensive pilot work during which two of the developers coded ten video clips of EL and TL infants interacting with their parents, including infants in the age range between 0 and 36 months. ...
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) likely emerges from a complex interaction between pre-existing neurodevelopmental vulnerabilities and the environment. The interaction with parents forms a key aspect of an infant's social environment, but few prospective studies of infants at elevated likelihood (EL) for ASD (who have an older sibling with ASD) have examined parent-child interactions in the first year of life. As part of a European multisite network, parent-child dyads of free play were observed at 5 months (62 EL infants, 47 infants at typical likelihood (TL)) and 10 months (101 EL siblings, 77 TL siblings). The newly-developed Parent-Infant/Toddler Coding of Interaction (PInTCI) scheme was used, focusing on global characteristics of infant and parent behaviors. Coders were blind to participant information. Linear mixed model analyses showed no significant group differences in infant or parent behaviors at 5 or 10 months of age (all ps≥0.09, d≤0.36), controlling for infant's sex and age, and parental educational level. However, without adjustments, EL infants showed fewer and less clear initiations at 10 months than TL infants (p = Infant Behavior and Development 62 (2021) 101521 2 0.02, d = 0.44), but statistical significance was lost after controlling for parental education (p = 0.09, d = 0.36), which tended to be lower in the EL group. Consistent with previous literature focusing on parent-infant dyads, our findings suggest that differences between EL and TL dyads may only be subtle during the first year of life. We discuss possible explanations and implications for future developmental studies.
... Directives refer to parental attempts to guide their children's attentional or behavioral shifts (McDonald & Pien, 1982;Hoff-Ginsberg, 1986). Maternal use of directives is generally found to be negatively predictive of children's grammatical and vocabulary development (Newport et al., 1977;Flynn & Masur, 2007). One possible explanation for the negative effect of directives on vocabulary development is that attentional directives tend to be used to re-direct the child's attention away from their current focus (e.g. ...
Thesis
Previous studies have found that bilingual children’s vocabulary development benefits more from child-directed speech from native speakers than child-directed speech from nonnative speakers. The current study compared the native English child-directed speech of 20 English monolingual mothers, the nonnative English child-directed speech of 20 Spanish-English bilingual mothers, and the native Spanish child-directed speech of the same bilingual mothers in terms of three aspects of input previously associated with children’s language development: data-providing properties, topic contingency, and speech function. There were significant differences between native English and nonnative English child-directed speech, and between nonnative English and native Spanish. The results suggest two sources of influence shaping child-directed speech: quality differences related to native speaker status and cultural factors primed by the language being spoken.
... The conversationeliciting style is known to support language development, as parents who frequently ask questions make kids produce more talk. There is less clarity on the impact of directive conversational style on child development (see Flynn and Masur 2007). ...
Book
This book addresses cultural variability in children’s social worlds, examining the acquisition, development, and use of culturally relevant social competencies valued in diverse cultural contexts. It discusses the different aspects of preschoolers’ social competencies that allow children – including adopted, immigrant, or at-risk children – to create and maintain relationships, communicate, and to get along with other people at home, in daycare or school, and other situations. Chapters explore how children’s social competencies reflect the features of the social worlds in which they live and grow. In addition, chapters examine the extent that different cultural value orientations manifest in children’s social functioning and escribes how parents in autonomy-oriented cultures tend to value different social skills than parents with relatedness or autonomous-relatedness orientations. The book concludes with recommendations for future research directions. Topics featured in this book include: • Gender development in young children. • Peer interactions and relationships during the preschool years. • Sibling interactions in western and non-western cultural groups. • The roles of grandparents in child development. • Socialization and development in refugee children. • Child development within institutional care. Children’s Social Worlds in Cultural Context is a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians/practitioners, and graduate students in developmental psychology, child and school psychology, social work, cultural anthropology, family studies, and education.
... Early, frequent, high-quality parent-child communicative interactions are critical for developing strong language and preliteracy skills (Cartmill et al., 2013;Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015;Ramírez-Esparza, García-Sierra, & Kuhl, 2014;Romeo et al., 2018;Rowe, 2012) skills that are foundational to later academic and life success (Dickinson, Golinkoff, & Hirsh-Pasek, 2010;Hoff, 2013). Such interactions are characterized by temporally contingent and topically contiguous parental responses, the use of directives that do not require the child to shift attention, the presence of rich language structures, and varied exposure to print concepts (Bibok et al., 2009;Bornstein et al., 2008;Flynn & Masur, 2007;Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015;Masur, Flynn, & Eichorst, 2005;Piasta, Justice, McGinty, & Kaderavek, 2012;Tamis-LeMonda, Kuchirko, & Song, 2014). We used these evidence-based qualities of parent-child communicative interaction as a basis for selecting the training targets in our study. ...
Article
Parent-child interaction is critical for early language and literacy development. Parent training programs have proliferated to support early interactions. However, many environmental and psychosocial factors can impact the quality of parent-child language and literacy interactions as well as training program outcomes. This preliminary randomized controlled trial examined maternal perceived self-efficacy and locus of control during a language and literacy parent training program. Thirty mother-child dyads (mother age 21-40; children 2;6-4;0) were assigned in parallel to the training or control group. The training was efficacious for mothers and children - training-group dyads made significantly greater gains in maternal strategy use, responsivity, and child print awareness than the control group. Gains were maintained one month post-training. Children whose mothers had more external baseline control perceptions identified significantly fewer print targets at baseline and made greater gains than those with more internal control perceptions. Future directions and implications are discussed.
... These findings coincide with research suggesting that directive forms of responsive parenting (e.g. 'maintaining', 'follow-in directives'), in which the parent is guiding the child's behavior in line with the child's interest and focus of attention, can promote child engagement and opportunities for communication (Flynn and Masur 2007;McCathren et al. 1995). Likewise, intrusive direction was associated with less child engagement, consistent with prior research for children with developmental risk (Mahoney and Nam 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) vary greatly in social functioning, and in turn, long-term relational and academic outcomes. Responsive parenting which follows a child’s lead and focus of attention is predictive of language and social gains for children with or without developmental risk. The present study prospectively assessed 176 families of children with ASD (ages 4 to 7 years) to examine predictors of observed responsive parenting and associations of responsive parenting with concurrent and prospective growth in social functioning by multi-method assessment. Responsive parenting concurrently associated with child characteristics (IQ, language, sex) and child social engagement within the interaction. Structural equation models revealed that responsive parenting positively predicted prospective growth in social skills by teacher but not parent report.
... On the other hand, some researchers such as Masur (Masur et al., 2005), Akhtar (Akhtar, Dunham, & Dunham, 1991), and Pine (Pine, 1994) categorized this style into two groups: (1) follow-in directive and (2) redirective. The results of some studies conducted based on this categorization show that the follow-in directive responses have a positive significant correlation with the language development of the child (Haebig, McDuffie, & Weismer, 2013;Masur et al., 2005;McDuffie & Yoder, 2010;Walton, 2014), while redirective responses have negative impacts on child language development (Flynn & Masur, 2007;McDuffie & Yoder, 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
This observational study examined the Iranian mothers’ interaction with their typically developing children aged 13–18 months during free play at home (n = 40). The first aim was to determine the main type of Iranian maternal verbal responsiveness. Another aim was to investigate the impact of concurrent prediction of maternal verbal responsiveness and children's communication acts on children's vocabulary. The results showed that the frequency of follow-in directive responsiveness was significantly higher than those of the other two types of responses. Among the various types of probabilistic variables predicting the status of children’s vocabulary, the follow-in directive responses of the mothers and the level of communicative acts of children had a significant predictive role in children’s vocabulary status. These results suggest that in non-western cultures, a directive interactional style that follows the child attentional focus and the child’s own communication acts have a transactional influence on the child language status.
... Five minutes of free play at 12 months may have been insufficient to capture fully the frequency and range of maternal behaviours used by participants. Additionally, parental behaviours may change depending on interaction type; only one interaction was coded that may not have represented the most typical nor frequent interaction in a child's day (Flynn and Masur 2007). Also, from a research perspective, being videoed using unfamiliar toys can be difficult for all participants, but particularly for minority groups (Ipsa et al. 2004). ...
Article
Background Variations in parenting, more specifically less responsive and more directive parenting, contribute to language difficulties for children experiencing adversity. Further investigation of associations between specific responsive and directive behaviours and child language is required to understand how behaviours shape language over time within different populations. As language is dyadic, further exploration of how mother–child interactions moderate associations is also important. Aims To investigate associations between specific responsive and directive maternal behaviours, the quality of mother–child interaction (fluency and connectedness) and child language in a cohort experiencing adversity. Methods & Procedures Pregnant women experiencing adversity were recruited from maternity hospitals in Australia. At 12 months, videos of mother–infant free play were collected. Videos were coded for maternal behaviours and fluency and connectedness (n = 249). At 36 months, child language was measured using a standardized language test. Linear regression models were used to examine associations and the moderating role of fluency and connectedness was explored. Outcomes & Results Responsive yes/no questions were positively associated with language scores. Unsuccessful redirectives were negatively associated with language scores. The moderation effect of fluency and connectedness was equivocal in the current data. Conclusions & Implications Findings reproduce and extend previous research highlighting key features of mother–child interactions associated with child language trajectories. Findings also augment knowledge of risk and protective factors related to language for children experiencing adversity and highlight where targeted interventions might be successful.
... As suggested by Manning (2019), a single interaction may not represent the ongoing interactions between a parent and child. Further, social interactions between a parent and child occur in various contexts, and it may be appropriate to observe dyads in more than one of these contexts (Flynn & Masur, 2007). However, the parent-child interaction occurred in the families' homes with a standard set of toys across participants, which is a valid method of collecting language samples for intervention studies (Tager-Flusberg et al., 2009). ...
Article
Introduction : There are limited data on the interrelationships among pragmatic skills and expressive vocabulary and their contribution to later social communication. Understanding these relationships could inform developmental processes and early intervention strategies. This study explored the relationship among pragmatics skills (i.e., communicative intents and responding to parents’ preceding utterances) and concurrent expressive vocabulary as well as the predictive nature of these skills on later social communication in young autistic children with language and cognitive delays. Method : Data from 56 autistic children (age 18–57 months) who participated in a larger randomized control trial of Pathways Early Autism Intervention were used in this secondary analysis. Video recordings of pre-intervention (Time 1) parent–child interactions were analyzed for number of different words (NDW; expressive vocabulary), number of different (ND) communicative intents, and response to parents’ preceding utterances. Residual scores from an assessment of social communication were used to measure Time 2 social communication. First-order correlations and hierarchical regression were used for analyses. Results : Adjusting for age and receptive language, both ND communicative intents and response to parents’ preceding utterances were associated with pre-intervention NDW. Further, adjusting for receptive language age and intervention group, NDW and response to parents’ preceding utterances – but not ND communicative intents—was related to Time 2 social communication. NDW, however, was no longer related to Time 2 social communication skills after accounting for response to parents’ preceding utterances. Conclusions : This study provides evidence that autistic children with language and cognitive delays use their expressive vocabularies to respond, hence allocating attention to parent speech, a rudimentary form of social orienting. Our results support approaches to intervention that leverage responding as a rudimentary form of social orienting while encouraging more mature forms of social attention (i.e., social orienting to faces and joint attention) within developmentally appropriate activities, such as routines.
... Although we were not able to demonstrate the influence of language structure in an effective interaction within this sample, future work may investigate whether constraining dyads to a particular language structure (e.g., interrogative structure) facilitates enhanced motor coordination and, ultimately, task success. A more elaborate language coding scheme should also be considered to address the potential for supportive versus intrusive directive language, which seem to have different roles in conversation (Flynn & Masur, 2007). Simultaneously, future work should take a dynamic approach to understanding child-caregiver language during these collaborative interactions. ...
Article
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Caregiver support is an important contextual factor in the daily functioning of children with cerebral palsy (CP), but few studies have examined child-caregiver interactions during collaborative motor tasks to identify characteristics of effective support that should be promoted in clinical interventions. The aims of this exploratory study were to (1) describe the interaction dynamics of children with CP and typically developing (TD) children with their respective caregivers during a collaborative motor task and (2) develop clinically relevant hypotheses regarding features of child-caregiver interactions that relate to effective caregiver support. Twelve child-caregiver dyads (6 including children with CP, 6 including TD children) participated. Each dyad attempted to construct the tallest tower structure in 10 min using marshmallows and raw spaghetti. Time-series of upper extremity positions were obtained through motion capture and used to examine child-caregiver movement coordination. Videos were coded for language structure and number of building materials used. Five TD dyads and one CP dyad successfully constructed a free-standing tower. During periods of increased tower breakage, TD dyads demonstrated increased movement coordination compared to CP dyads. Unsuccessful dyads (most of whom were CP dyads) demonstrated interaction dynamics characterized by the child leading in movement during periods of increased tower breakage. Overall, in TD dyads, caregivers used more interrogatives than imperatives, and children used more imperatives than interrogatives. This pattern was reversed for CP dyads. From these results we identified future hypotheses about aspects of interactions that may facilitate collabora-tive motor performance (and thus caregiver support) between children with CP and their caregivers.
Article
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This study investigated responsive and directive speech from 60 Finnish mothers to their 2-year-old children, as well as correlations with concurrent and later vocabulary. Possible gender differences with regard to both maternal speech and children’s vocabulary skills were considered. There were no gender differences in maternal utterance frequencies or in maternal utterance types. Girls scored statistically significantly higher in receptive and expressive vocabulary tests at 24, 30 and 36 months. The effect sizes were large. Maternal Other Utterances (fillers like yes, oh, umm) were correlated with children’s concurrent receptive vocabulary. However, there was no relationship between Other Utterances and children’s later vocabulary after controlling for vocabulary size at 24 months. This association may reflect an attempt by mothers to elicit speech from more linguistically advanced children. Furthermore, mothers’ Intrusive Directives towards 2-year-olds correlated negatively with receptive vocabulary at 30 months, particularly for boys. Surprisingly, Intrusive Attentional Directives correlated positively with expressive vocabulary in the group of 30-month-old girls. The results of this study demonstrate relationships between maternal verbal interactional style and both concurrent and future child vocabulary.
Poster
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This study explored the role of race/ethnicity in the gesture rate of the caregivers of young autistic children.
Article
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Linguistic interactions between parents and their children are frequently studied to investigate how children acquire language. From observations, researchers have identified interaction strategies that foster children’s language development. In turn, interventions to support children’s early language skills employ styles of interaction derived from these observations. However, researchers have not often considered how the activity context selected for observation may affect the language used, or whether these contexts reflect children’s diverse experiences. The aim of this scoping review was to explore the breadth of literature about language use across a range of activities. Included studies described linguistic outputs of parents and typically developing children (aged 1;0–5;11 years) and activity context(s). Searches were conducted in PsycInfo, Medline, CINAHL, ERIC-ProQuest and Google Scholar. From 16,718 records, 59 studies were retained. Studies were charted according to the population included, linguistic outputs recorded, activity contexts studied and the methodological design. To allow for comparison of results across activity contexts, five thematic categories were identified: play activities, book reading, naturalistic routines, media and methodological implications. Challenges for future research are discussed, including ways to ensure the ecological validity of findings by coupling naturalistic language recordings with data collected during diverse everyday activity contexts.
Article
The Maternal Interactive Beliefs Questionnaire (Johnston and Wong, 2002) assesses maternal beliefs about children’s language development. This study investigated the psychometric properties of a Persian translation of this questionnaire. The translation followed the protocol of the World Health Organization. Psychometric properties were evaluated using data from 301 Iranian mothers of children aged two to five years. The internal consistency and test–retest reliability of the total scores were calculated for comparative purposes, and an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the underlying structure. A principal component analysis revealed two components (accounting for 14.46% and 7.57% of the variance, respectively). The first component represented supportive maternal beliefs. The second component represented directive maternal beliefs. Cronbach’s alpha for components one, two and the total scores were acceptable (0.73, 0.71, and 0.73, respectively), and the test–retest reliability of the total score was high (intra-class correlation coefficient = 0.97). Consistent with previous research, the findings indicated that the translated survey is reliable to be used with Iranian mothers. The novel finding is that the survey has two underlying and theoretically plausible components; therefore, the use of a total scale score is cautioned. We recommend future testing of the two components.
Article
This study evaluated some measurements in spontaneous language (words, utterances and conversational turn takings number produced, utterances number for conversational turn takings, MLU, frequency of different utterance lengths) in samples of 59 couples children-parents, age range: 3,6 to 4,11 yr. Each couple was video recorded in a free game setting at home and linguistic records were then transcribed using the program CHILDES. Descriptive analyses for all measures were done and two way analysis of variance was carried out to verify the effects of age and sex. Correlations between children's linguistic production and parent linguistic production were sought. The data supplied a number of parameters for Italian language in clinical observation. The correlation between MLU and frequency of different utterance lengths suggested to use the latter as an index of linguistic development, instead of MLU. Furthermore, the study underlined the way the partner modified his/her production in relation to the child's linguistic index, in order to support the child's own production.
Article
Previous research has shown that the quality of mother-child interactions between pre-term children and their mothers tends to be poorer than that of full-term children and their mothers (Forcada-Guex, Pierrehumbert, Borghini, Moessinger & Muller-Nix, 2006). Mothers of pre-term children are less responsive and more intrusive in interactions with their children than mothers of full-term children (Forcada-Guex et al., 2006; Ionio, Lista, Mascheroni, Olivari, Confalonieri, Mastrangelo, Brazzoduro, Balestriero, Banfi, Bonanomi, Bova, Castoldi, Colombo, Introvini & Scelsa, 2017; Laing, McMahon, Ungerer, Taylor, Badawi & Spence, 2010). The current research explored differences between mothers of pre-term and full-term children in terms of interactive beliefs and style, and the potential for language development to be differentially predicted by maternal interactive beliefs and styles in pre-term versus full-term children. Independent t-tests were conducted to compare pre-term and full-term groups in relation to the measures of maternal interactive beliefs and styles. A series of multiple regression analyses were then performed separately for each group to examine the shared and unique contributions of maternal interactive beliefs and styles on full-term versus pre-term children's language development. The results showed that mothers of pre-term children were more intrusive-directive than mothers of full-term children; in contrast, mothers of full-term children were more responsive and supportive-directive in interactions with their children. Moreover, predictors of language development were different in full-term versus pre-term children; in full-term children, maternal supportive beliefs and responsiveness were significant predictors of language development evaluated by both the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development and the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory; in the pre-term group, maternal supportive and directive beliefs, as well as supportive and intrusive directiveness, were significant predictors, with the latter being negatively associated with language development indicators. This research can shed light on how to prevent language delay in children and improve mother-child interactions that contribute to language development, which may in turn improve language development in vulnerable children, children born pre-term in particular.
Article
Maternal responsive and directive speech to children at ages 0;10 and 2;0 was investigated by applying a procedure first introduced by Flynn and Masur (2007) to a new language community (Finnish). The issues examined were consistency and stability over time, and also the role of responsiveness and directiveness in child linguistic development at 1;0 and 2;6. The measures of maternal speech from each age were used to predict the results of the subsequent linguistic assessment. Negative correlations between responsive and directive utterances were found at both ages. The frequencies of responsive utterances and supportive directives increased over time. Responsiveness was positively, and intrusive directiveness negatively, related to child early comprehensive skills and the use of symbolic actions and communicative gestures. By contrast, no relations were found between responsiveness and directiveness and children's later linguistic capacities.
Article
In this work, we aim at identifying the speaker in interactions between mothers and children with Down syndrome (DS) using audio. We collected audio from a session in which children with DS solved puzzles, and their mothers were by their side. We generated a dataset by manually annotating human speech activity and non-speech. We used machine learning to perform four experiments, including individual and generalized models achieving on average F1-scores of 0.74 (five-class model) and 0.84 (two-class) for individual models and 0.69 (five-class) and 0.82 (two-class) for the generalized models. Our results can be helpful to behavioral researchers, therapists, and those interested in better understanding how mother–child interactions unfold in naturalistic settings.
Article
To investigate possible influences on and consequences of mothers’ speech, specific infant behaviors preceding and following four pragmatic categories of mothers’ utterances – responsive utterances, supportive behavioral directives, intrusive behavioral directives, and intrusive attentional directives – were examined longitudinally during dyadic free play at ages 13, 17, and 21 months. Analyses revealed developmental increases in children’s positive social and object-directed behaviors before and after maternal speech. Responsive utterances were the most likely to be preceded by social and object initiatives and more likely than intrusive directives to occur following high toy interest. Although mothers’ intrusive behavioral and attentional directives were often preceded by infants’ disengagement from play and toys, they were followed by infants’ greater levels of toy interest. Infants’ rates of compliance were substantial following all directives. The findings reveal differential behavioral circumstances preceding and following mothers’ responsive versus directive speech and their supportive directive versus intrusive directive utterances.
Article
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The aim of this study was to verify the maternal communicative styles directed to boys and girls, especially the directive one, in a free-play situation. The mother's and the children's communicative styles were based on the social interaction perspective, which recognizes the importance of maternal input to the development of the infant's is language. In this study there were sixteen mother-child dyads equally distributed in terms of gender. The dyads were recorded in natural environment in a free-play situation. The transcriptions of the sessions were carried out following the norms of the Codes of Human Analysis of Transcripts (CHAT) that composes the computational system Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES). Mann-Whitney test showed that mothers used more directives in the group of boys, while maternal request was more used in the group of girls. These results were discussed considering children's linguistic level of development and the interactive contexts in which the utterances appeared.
Article
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This prospective longitudinal study examined the relationship between caregiver input to 9-month-old infants and their subsequent language. Mother-infant dyads were videotaped at ages 9, 12, and 30 months. Language comprehension (at 12 and 18 months) was measured by parent report and correlated with an independent language measure. Three maternal style variables were reduced from the 9-month data. Only caregivers' contingent comments (CCC) related to infants' later language. These findings held after infants' skill with coordinated joint attention (CJA) was taken into account. The total number of words the mothers used when their infants were 9 months predicted vocabulary; however, the predictive power was encapsulated in the words the mother used during CCC. Because studies have typically examined maternal input once infants' CJA has emerged, this work contributes to current efforts to understand variations in early language development.
Article
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Since Nelson's original (1973) study there has been a tendency in the literature to view maternal directiveness in an essentially negative way, equating it with maternal intrusiveness or insensitivity (e.g. Nelson 1973, McDonald & Pien 1982). The present study attempts to re-evaluate this negative characterization of maternal directiveness by examining the interactive behaviour of 8 mothers at the early one-word stage of development. The results show that, in contrast to McDonald & Pien's behaviour-oriented/conversation-eliciting dimension, based on the relative proportion of directives and real questions in mothers' speech, the major dimension of variation in the present sample was the relative proportion of behavioural directives and tutorial prompts or test questions. Furthermore this dimension was unrelated either to maternal sensitivity, defined in terms of responsiveness to the child's utterances, or to mothers' use of attentional directives. These findings raise doubts, not only about the tendency to equate directiveness with maternal intrusiveness or insensitivity, but also about the assumption that directiveness reflects a single unitary dimension of mother's interactional behaviour. This suggests that current views of maternal directiveness are based on a negative stereotype of the directive mother and implies the need to analyse maternal speech effects much more carefully than has been done hitherto if we are to understand the mechanisms by which they are actually mediated.
Article
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Maternal directiveness, assessed by the mother's use of prescriptives, is correlated with slow vocabulary development. As prescriptives are most often used to redirect a child's attention to a different object or activity, it is hypothesized that attentional regulation underlies this negative relationship. In the present study, twelve mothers were videotaped interacting with their children aged 1;1, and 100 maternal utterances were coded for pragmatic intent. Prescriptives were coded as either changing (leading) or following the child's focus of attention. Only the frequency of mothers' follow-prescriptives correlated significantly with a productive vocabulary measure taken at 1;10. This correlation was high and positive, indicating that, given joint focus, directing a 13-month-old's behaviour can have beneficial effects on subsequent vocabulary development.
Article
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The contributions of social processes and computational processes to early lexical development were evaluated. A re-analysis and review of previous research cast doubt on the sufficiency of social approaches to word learning. An empirical investigation of the relation of social-pragmatic and data-providing features of input to the productive vocabulary of sixty-three 2-year-old children revealed benefits of data provided in mother-child conversation, but no effects of social aspects of those conversations. The findings further revealed that the properties of data that benefit lexical development in 2-year-olds are quantity, lexical richness, and syntactic complexity. The nature of the computational mechanisms implied by these findings is discussed. An integrated account of the roles of social and computational processes to lexical development is proposed.
Article
Although much attention has been devoted to lexical, grammatical, and semantic aspects of child-directed speech, less is known about its pragmatics. This paper describes a longitudinal study of the communicative intents used by parents in interaction with their 14-, 20-, and 32-month-olds (n = 52). With 14-month-olds, parents used a small core set of communicative intents. This set grew in size and sophistication with increasing child age. Comparison with children's intents showed that some commonly used parental communicative intents were rare in children's language at all three ages. As children grew older, parental use of directive intents declined and child-centered acts increased. These findings suggest that child-directed parental speech is simplified pragmatically as well as grammatically and semantically.
Article
Studies of the role of child-directed speech in language acquisition have often ignored variation in the amount of speech children hear. The present paper argues that there is no empirical justification for doing so and demonstrates that the resultant descriptions of child- directed speech look quite different depending on how variation in total output is handled. There is real variation in how much talk children hear, and many previous studies of the effects of input have thus failed to consider a potentially important variable. Future research should be aimed at untangling the influence on language development of the total amount of speech children hear and of the relative frequencies of properties of that speech.
Article
Recent research has documented systematic individual differences in early lexical development. The current study investigated the relation ship of these differences to differences in the way mothers and children regulate each other's attentional states. Mothers of 6 one-year-olds kept diary records and were videotaped with their children at monthly intervals as well. Language measures from the diary were related to measures of attention manipulation and maintenance derived from a coding of the videotaped interactions. Results showed that when mothers initiated interactions by directing their child's attention, rather than by following into it, their child learned fewer object labels and more personal-social words. Dyads who maintained sustained bouts of joint attentional focus had children with larger vocabularies overall. It was concluded that the way mothers and children regulate each other's attention is an important factor in children's early lexical development.
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
Examines the role of exposure to speech in children's early vocabulary growth. It is generally assumed that individual differences in vocabulary depend, in large part, on variations in learning capacity. However, variations in exposure have not been systematically explored. In this study vocabulary growth rates are characterized for each of 22 children by using data obtained at several time points from 14 to 26 mo. A substantial relation between individual differences in vocabulary acquisition and variations in the amount that particular mothers speak to their children was found. It is argued that the relation between amount of parent speech and vocabulary growth reflects parent effects on the child, rather than child-ability effects on the parent or hereditary factors. It was also found that gender is an important factor in rate of vocabulary growth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Compared maternal speech to 2 groups of children, 5 girls and 2 boys, who showed a normal rate of language development and 3 boys with a slower rate of language development at age 24 mo. Ss were drawn from the sample used in the study by the 1st, 2nd, and 4th authors (1984). Maternal speech to these children at age 16 mo was analyzed to determine relations between speech and the contiguous nonverbal context. Several differences emerged between the 2 groups. Mothers of children with slower language development initiated more changes in conversational topic without providing an appropriate nonverbal context. They also made fewer references to objects that were at the child's current focus of attention and more references to objects to which the child was not attending. The children with slower language development were also presented with fewer specific object labels and more general terms such as pronouns and general nouns. Possible difficulties for the early stages of language development arising from these differences are discussed. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Individual differences in mothers' tendencies to describe aspects of the environment occupying their infants' current focus of attention were measured during interactions with their 13-mo-old infants. The frequency of these current maternal utterances was then correlated with measures of their infants' productive lexical development at 13 and 24 mo of age. In 19 dyads in which mothers had been employed outside of the home during their infants' 1st 2 yrs, the correlations between the maternal input measures and infant lexical development were significantly lower than those observed in 19 dyads in which the mothers were at home as full-time caregivers during this period of development. The dissociation of this relationship in dyads with mothers employed outside of the home suggests that early maternal input accounts for some of the variance in subsequent infant lexical development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A speech act approach to the transition from pre-linguistic to linguistic communication is adopted in order to consider language in relation to behaviour generally and to allow for an emphasis on the USE of language rather than on its form. The structure of language is seen as non-arbitrary in that it reflects both attention structures (via predication) and action structures (via the fundamental case grammatical form of language). Linguistic concepts are first realized in action. A pilot study focusing on the regulation of JOINT attention and JOINT activity within the context of mutuality between mother and infant is discussed, with emphasis on ritualization in mutual play as a vehicle for understanding the development of the formal structures of language.
Article
30 working-class and 33 upper-middle-class mothers were videotaped in dyadic interaction with their 18-29-month-old children in 4 settings–mealtime, dressing, book reading, and toy play. Samples of the mothers' adult-directed speech also were collected. There were significant social class differences in the mothers' child-directed speech and some parallel social class differences in the mothers' adult-directed speech. These findings suggested that some social class differences in child-directed speech may be instances of more general class differences in language use. There also were main effects of communicative setting on mothers' child-directed speech and interaction effects in which setting moderated the size of the class differences in maternal speech. These findings suggested that the amount of time mothers spend interacting with their children in different contexts may be at least as important an influence on children's linguistic experience as are average characteristics of their motheapos; speech.
Article
This prospective longitudinal study examined the contribution of dimensions of maternal responsiveness (descriptions, play, imitations) to the timing of five milestones in children's (N= 40) early expressive language: first imitations, first words, 50 words in expressive language, combinatorial speech, and the use of language to talk about the past. Events-History Analysis, a statistical technique that estimates the extent to which predictors influence the timing of events, was used. At 9 and 13 months, maternal responsiveness and children's activities (e.g., vocalizations, play) were coded from videotaped interactions of mother – child free play; information about children's language acquisition was obtained through biweekly interviews with mothers from 9 through 21 months. Maternal responsiveness at both ages predicted the timing of children's achieving language milestones over and above children's observed behaviors. Responsiveness at 13 months was a stronger predictor of the timing of language milestones than was responsiveness at 9 months, and certain dimensions of responsiveness were more predictive than others. The multidimensional nature of maternal responsiveness and specificity in mother – child language relations are discussed.
Article
The situational contexts most commonly represented in studies of language acquisition are book reading and toy play. Remarkably few studies have explicitly compared the language of young children or their adult interactants across different situational contexts, despite the likelihood that certain contexts may promote particular interaction styles. In the current study, we compare the speech of mothers and their 12-month-old children in book reading versus toy play contexts by examining communicative activities that emerge in each context, and by determining if contexts generate differences in the children's sophistication of language. Results indicated that context influenced both maternal and child expression of pragmatic intents. Most striking was the finding that children, as young as 12 months of age, showed variations in language use, vocabulary, and early syntax, given contextual differences. These findings suggest that distinctions in maternal interaction style (e.g., conversation-eliciting vs. directive) may have to be examined to exclude the possibility that these are differences in preferred context of interaction more than in style of talking. In addition, assessments of child language are generally assumed to be robust and not influenced by differences between book reading and toy play; our results suggest, though, that context makes a rather large difference.
Article
At around 1 year of age, human infants display a number of new behaviors that seem to indicate a newly emerging understanding of other persons as intentional beings whose attention to outside objects may be shared, followed into, and directed in various ways. These behaviors have mostly been studied separately. In the current study, we investigated the most important of these behaviors together as they emerged in a single group of 24 infants between 9 and 15 months of age. At each of seven monthly visits, we measured joint attentional engagement, gaze and point following, imitation of two different kinds of actions on objects, imperative and declarative gestures, and comprehension and production of language. We also measured several nonsocial-cognitive skills as a point of comparison. We report two studies. The focus of the first study was the initial emergence of infants' social-cognitive skills and how these skills are related to one another developmentally. We found a reliable pattern of emergence: Infants progressed from sharing to following to directing others' attention and behavior. The nonsocial skills did not emerge predictably in this developmental sequence. Furthermore, correlational analyses showed that the ages of emergence of all pairs of the social-cognitive skills or their components were interrelated. The focus of the second study was the social interaction of infants and their mothers, especially with regard to their skills of joint attentional engagement (including mothers' use of language to follow into or direct infants' attention) and how these skills related to infants' early communicative competence. Our measures of communicative competence included not only language production, as in previous studies, but also language comprehension and gesture production. It was found that two measures-the amount of time infants spent in joint engagement with their mothers and the degree to which mothers used language that followed into their infant's focus of attention-predicted infants' earliest skills of gestural and linguistic communication. Results of the two studies are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of social-cognitive development, for theories of language development, and for theories of the process by means of which human children become fully participating members of the cultural activities and processes into which they are born.
Article
This study investigated the relationships between children's linguistic environments and their language acquisition. Speech samples taken from seven firstborn children and their mothers when the children were 1; 6 and 2; 3 were analysed within a number of semantic and syntactic categories to determine correlations between mothers' speech and subsequent language development. Several characteristics of mothers' speech (e.g. utterance length, use of pronouns) significantly predicted later child speech. The significant correlations suggested that mothers' choice of simple constructions facilitated language growth. Further, they showed that the motherese code differed from adult-adult speech in ways which aided language development. Differences between our study and previous investigations of environmental effects on language development probably resulted from the failure of earlier investigations to take into account children's level of language competence at the time when environmental effects were assessed.
Article
30 working-class and 33 upper-middle-class mothers were videotaped in dyadic interaction with their 18-29-month-old children in 4 settings--mealtime, dressing, book reading, and toy play. Samples of the mothers' adult-directed speech also were collected. There were significant social class differences in the mothers' child-directed speech and some parallel social class differences in the mothers' adult-directed speech. These findings suggested that some social class differences in child-directed speech may be instances of more general class differences in language use. There also were main effects of communicative setting on mothers' child-directed speech and interaction effects in which setting moderated the size of the class differences in maternal speech. These findings suggested that the amount of time mothers spend interacting with their children in different contexts may be at least as important an influence on children's linguistic experience as are average characteristics of their mothers' speech.
Article
The transition from slow to rapid word-learning was examined in a longitudinal study of 18 children. Beginning at age 1;2, mothers kept a diary of children's words. Diary entries were discussed during phone calls to the home every 2½ weeks. A chronological record of nouns and other word classes was coded from the diary records. Thirteen children evidenced a prolonged period of up to three months during which rate of acquisition markedly increased. Almost threequarters of the words learned during this period were nouns. Five children evidenced more gradual word-learning, and acquired a balance of nouns and other word classes. These results suggest that the terms ‘vocabulary spurt’ and ‘naming explosion’ best describe children who focus their early linguistic efforts on a single strategy: learning names for things. Other children may attempt to encode a broad range of experience with a more varied lexicon, a strategy that results in more gradual lexical growth.
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Maternal responsiveness during infancy is associated with children's intellectual and social competence at age twelve.
Article
This paper reports 2 studies that explore the role of joint attentional processes in the child's acquisition of language. In the first study, 24 children were videotaped at 15 and 21 months of age in naturalistic interaction with their mothers. Episodes of joint attentional focus between mother and child--for example, joint play with an object--were identified. Inside, as opposed to outside, these episodes both mothers and children produced more utterances, mothers used shorter sentences and more comments, and dyads engaged in longer conversations. Inside joint episodes maternal references to objects that were already the child's focus of attention were positively correlated with the child's vocabulary at 21 months, while object references that attempted to redirect the child's attention were negatively correlated. No measures from outside these episodes related to child language. In an experimental study, an adult attempted to teach novel words to 10 17-month-old children. Words referring to objects on which the child's attention was already focused were learned better than words presented in an attempt to redirect the child's attentional focus.
Article
Samples of the speech addressed by adults to a socially representative sample of 2-year-olds in naturally occurring contexts of interaction were analysed with respect to syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and discourse features to determine which features were most strongly associated with gain by the children on a variety of measures of language development over the ensuing 9 months. Following a principal components analysis of the adult speech variables, the most highly loading variables on the first six components were correlated with children's gain scores. Polar interrogatives, directives and extending utterances were all found to be associated with at least one measure of development. The results are if interpreted as evidence of reciprocal, rather than one-way facilitation.
Article
A 50-utterance corpus for each of sixteen mothers during caretaking situations (diapering, dressing, bathing) was extracted from in-home tape recordings obtained over a three-day period. The children ranged from 1; 3.15 to 1; 7 and were classified according to Nelson's referential-expressive distinction. A coding scheme consisting of three categories – communicative intent, focus of attention and evaluation – was employed to characterize the mothers' speech. Mothers of referential children produced a greater number of utterances per caretaking incident, more description and less prescriptives than did mothers of expressive children. The findings suggest that Nelson's referential-expressive distinction in child's speech is related to differences in mothers' pragmatic speech characteristics.
Article
Previous research has suggested that the syntactic and semantic characteristics of mother speech are determined by the underlying intention of mothers to control (Newport 1977) or to converse with (Snow 1977) the child. The present study attempts to delineate the structure among functionally categorized mother conversational behaviours, especially those which might reflect the mother's intention to control or converse with her child. The utterances of II mothers with their children (aged 2; 5–3; 0) were categorized according to their illocutionary force or function. Conversational parameters, such as topic change rate and talkativeness, were also measured. Intercorrelations among all these mother variables showed a polarized pattern, reflecting two predominant mother intentions for conversational interaction: the control of the child's physical actions, and the elicitation of his conversational participation. Implications of the findings, especially those indicating the incompatibility of controlling and conversation-eliciting intentions, are discussed.
Article
This paper explores differences in conversational style among mothers. Although previous research suggests that many aspects of mother speech to the child covary in a way which serves the underlying intention of the mother, it was unclear whether such clusters of conversational behaviour would prove useful in characterizing stylistic differences among mothers across time. An analysis of the functionally-coded speech of 11 mothers showed statistically significant variability among mothers, especially in those behaviours most closely associated with intention. Further, mothers showed stability in these behaviour patterns across two sessions. A typology of mother style, based on the intentions of mothers to direct or converse with their children, is suggested and illustrated by individual cases.
Article
Data from parent reports on 1,803 children--derived from a normative study of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories (CDIs)--are used to describe the typical course and the extent of variability in major features of communicative development between 8 and 30 months of age. The two instruments, one designed for 8-16-month-old infants, the other for 16-30-month-old toddlers, are both reliable and valid, confirming the value of parent reports that are based on contemporary behavior and a recognition format. Growth trends are described for children scoring at the 10th-, 25th-, 50th-, 75th-, and 90th-percentile levels on receptive and expressive vocabulary, actions and gestures, and a number of aspects of morphology and syntax. Extensive variability exists in the rate of lexical, gestural, and grammatical development. The wide variability across children in the time of onset and course of acquisition of these skills challenges the meaningfulness of the concept of the modal child. At the same time, moderate to high intercorrelations are found among the different skills both concurrently and predictively (across a 6-month period). Sex differences consistently favor females; however, these are very small, typically accounting for 1%-2% of the variance. The effects of SES and birth order are even smaller within this age range. The inventories offer objective criteria for defining typicality and exceptionality, and their cost effectiveness facilitates the aggregation of large data sets needed to address many issues of contemporary theoretical interest. The present data also offer unusually detailed information on the course of development of individual lexical, gestural, and grammatical items and features. Adaptations of the CDIs to other languages have opened new possibilities for cross-linguistic explorations of sequence, rate, and variability of communicative development.
Article
The main thrust of this paper is to question whether in earlier studies the 'motherese hypothesis' has been adequately tested. The present study first explores concurrent relations between maternal and child language at an early age, using the Snyder, Bates & Bretherton (1981) questionnaire to assess vocabulary at 1;1. With a large sample of 45 subjects, videotaped at 1;1 and 1;8, it was possible to analyse earlier talkers separately from later talkers. The results indicate pre-existing differences between the mothers of earlier and later talkers as early as 1;1--some 5 months before other studies have examined the possible facilitative effects of 'motherese'. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, when the sample was divided according to stylistic preference at 1;8, several associations between maternal language at 1;1 and MLU at 1;8 emerged for the non-expressive group which were non-existent for the expressive group. These results imply that earlier studies may have been looking for the effectiveness of maternal input too late. Moreover, it may continue to be difficult to demonstrate consistent effects of child-directed speech as long as researchers continue to ignore individual differences in style of language acquisition.
Article
Mothers' provision of names for novel and familiar toy animals was examined during play interactions with 20 infants observed at ages 0;10, 1;1, 1;5, and 1;9. Of particular interest were characteristics of mothers' speech which might bear on children's development of lexical principles or constraints. Analyses demonstrated that mothers facilitated their children's determination of reference and differentially adjusted their naming practices to novel, comprehended, and familiar animals. They virtually always named the whole object first. More important, the first mention of novel, but not comprehended or familiar animals involved both maternal naming and physical designation of the object 92% or more of the time. Thus, although a novel word's referent may be indeterminate logically, mothers specify it practically. These results support the position that maternal labelling practices may assist children in acquiring lexical principles and that lexical acquisition, perhaps even the vocabulary spurt, can proceed during natural conversational interactions before infants master lexical principles.
Article
Two sets of meta-analyses of studies examining gender effects on parents' observed language with their children were conducted. One looked at studies comparing mothers and fathers in amount of talking, supportive speech, negative speech, directive speech, informing speech, and questions and requests. The other looked at studies comparing mothers' interactions with daughters versus with sons in amount of talking, supportive speech, and directive speech. Across studies, mothers tended to talk more (d = .26), use more supportive (d = .23) and negative (d = .13) speech, and use less directive (d = .19) and informing (d = .15) speech than did fathers. Also, mothers tended to talk more (d = .29) and use more supportive speech (d = .22) with daughters than with sons. Medium or large effect sizes occurred in most analyses when particular moderator variables were taken into account. Effect sizes varied, depending on aspects of the interactive setting, the child's age, sampling and measurement, and publication characteristics. The results are interpreted in relation to a contextual-interactive model of gender typing.
Article
At around 1 year of age, human infants display a number of new behaviors that seem to indicate a newly emerging understanding of other persons as intentional beings whose attention to outside objects may be shared, followed into, and directed in various ways. These behaviors have mostly been studied separately. In the current study, we investigated the most important of these behaviors together as they emerged in a single group of 24 infants between 9 and 15 months of age. At each of seven monthly visits, we measured joint attentional engagement, gaze and point following, imitation of two different kinds of actions on objects, imperative and declarative gestures, and comprehension and production of language. We also measured several nonsocial-cognitive skills as a point of comparison. We report two studies. The focus of the first study was the initial emergence of infants' social-cognitive skills and how these skills are related to one another developmentally. We found a reliable pattern of emergence: Infants progressed from sharing to following to directing others' attention and behavior. The nonsocial skills did not emerge predictably in this developmental sequence. Furthermore, correlational analyses showed that the ages of emergence of all pairs of the social-cognitive skills or their components were inter-related. The focus of the second study was the social interaction of infants and their mothers, especially with regard to their skills of joint attentional engagement (including mothers' use of language to follow into or direct infants' attention) and how these skills related to infants' early communicative competence. Our measures of communicative competence included not only language production, as in previous studies, but also language comprehension and gesture production. It was found that two measures--the amount of time infants spent in joint engagement with their mothers and the degree to which mothers used language that followed into their infant's focus of attention--predicted infants' earliest skills of gestural and linguistic communication. Results of the two studies are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of social-cognitive development, for theories of language development, and for theories of the process by means of which human children become fully participating members of the cultural activities and processes into which they are born.
Article
Predictive relations were examined between measures of 20 mothers' behavioural and verbal general and specific responsiveness and intrusive and supportive directiveness and their children's subsequent expressive vocabularies during three developmental periods with endpoints at the beginning, middle, and end of the second year: 0; 10 to 1; 1, 1 ; 1 to 1; 5, and 1;5 to 1;9. Regression analyses, controlling for mothers' utterance frequencies and children's initial lexicons, revealed considerable consistency between reported and observed lexicons but changing patterns of predictive relations with development. During the first period, behavioural, but not verbal, measures of maternal responsiveness and supportive directiveness were positively predictive. In period two, verbal, but not behavioural, measures predicted children's vocabularies, with specific responsiveness and supportive directiveness as positive predictors and intrusive directiveness as a negative predictor. During the final period, mothers' behavioural and verbal responsiveness and behavioural supportive directiveness positively predicted and their verbal intrusive directiveness negatively predicted children's lexical growth.
Structure and strategy in learning to talk. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
  • K Nelson
Nelson, K. (1973). Structure and strategy in learning to talk. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 38 (1–2, Serial No. 149).