ERIC Number: ED174337
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Parent-Child Conversations.
Greif, Esther Blank
This study examined sex differences in the use of interruptions and simultaneous speech during conversations between parents and preschool children. In our society, children are usually taught not to interrupt a person who is talking, yet many adults themselves interrupt others. In fact, it seems that interruptions can be used acceptably under certain circumstances. To reduce the likelihood of speakers talking at the same time, people in a conversation typically obey turn-taking rules. Even though simultaneous speech seems more accidental than interruptions, one speaker can take advantage of the situation to maintain or gain control. Subjects were 16 children ages 2 to 5, and both their parents. Each parent-child pair engaged in semi-structured play for 30 minutes. Instances of interruptions by parents and children were recorded, as well as occurrences of simultaneous speech. Results reported are mean differences. There were no significant differences between boys and girls in the use of these two conversational techniques. However, fathers interrupted more and spoke simultaneously more often than mothers did. Further, both parents were more likely to interrupt their daughters and to speak simultaneously with their daughters. Results were discussed in relation to the power differences between men and women, and in reference to the socialization of children into male and female sex roles. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversational Practices; Interruption; Simultaneous Speech
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)