ERIC Number: ED335109
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Why and How Some Mothers Talk More to Their Children than Other Mothers.
This study examined transcripts of 63 mealtime, dyadic interactions of mothers and their children. An earlier investigation of the effects of social class and communicative setting on maternal speech found a significant class difference and within-class variability in the amount of speech mothers directed to their children. There were significant class differences in the functions and discourse properties of maternal speech, differences which may have contributed to increased verbal output by the mothers. In this study, the mothers were from the working class and upper-middle class. Children averaged 20.1 months of age. Transcripts were examined in an effort to determine the difference between groups and the variability in each group in maternal verbal output. Findings suggest that the amount of child-directed speech mothers produce is a function of: (1) characteristics of conversational style that mothers bring to interactions with their children and that operate independent of the children's conversational behavior; and (2) characteristics of the children's contribution to discourse. Characteristics of mothers differed between groups. Variability within groups was a function of how much the children talked. (SH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).