ERIC Number: ED285338
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: N/A
Use of Maternal Language in the Clinical Assessment of the Mother-Infant Dyad: A Case Study.
To examine clinical implications for using maternal language as a dimension of assessment and intervention, a linguistic and behavioral analysis was completed on a mother suspected of neglect during interaction with her 5-month-old failure-to-thrive infant. Results of the videotaped sample were compared to previous research on maternal language and a second mother addressing her medically ill infant. The verbal language of the mother suspected of neglect differed in sentence form, word content, and communicative and rhythmical aspects of speech believed to convey affect. In addition, her nonverbal behaviors differed in proximity and holding patterns. The failure-to-thrive infant's communicative behavior, compared to the second infant, differed in amount and quality of vocalization, gaze, and smile. Clinical implications are discussed, including the need to examine parent-to-child language in terms of rhythmical or prosodic patterns, endearing terms, rate of production, use of commands, exclamations, rising-falling pitch patterns, amount of pause time allowed the child, and word types. Also noted is the importance of identifying positive signalling behaviors in the infant that may encourage maternal interaction. (CL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A portion of the paper was presented at the International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect (5th, Montreal, Canada, September 1984).