ERIC Number: ED218688
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Interruptions in Children's Conversation: Does Talk Break Down?
The silence between two people's utterances during conversation is referred to as a juncture pause and the outcome of events at the juncture pause determines who will speak next in a conversation. A study explored the nature of interruptions in young children's conversation and examined whether turn-taking repair occurred after an interruption and if so, how it was accomplished. Subjects included preschool children ranging in age from 4 to 5 years. The children were observed in dyads as they played in a private room at their day care center for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Altogether there were approximately 6 hours of natural conversation taped and within this time, 25 instances of interruption occurred. Results showed the female-male dyad had the highest rate of interruptions, with one occuring every 9.50 minutes. The next highest rate of interruptions per minute was every 26.60 minutes by the female-female group and the lowest was one every 80 minutes by the male-male dyad. The most prevalent type of interruption involved adding a statement that was specifically or generally relevant to the topic. Children dealt with being interrupted primarily by abandoning their own utterance and responding to the interrupter's utterance. Finally, there appeared to be no discernible relationship between the types of interruptions used by children in conversation and the types of responses given. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Interpersonal Communication; Interruptions
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).