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ERIC Number: EJ1178947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
Thinking or Feeling? An Exploratory Study of Maternal Scaffolding, Child Mental State Talk, and Emotion Understanding in Language-Impaired and Typically Developing School-Aged Children
Yuill, Nicola; Little, Sarah
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v88 n2 p261-283 Jun 2018
Background: Mother-child mental state talk (MST) supports children's developing social-emotional understanding. In typically developing (TD) children, family conversations about emotion, cognition, and causes have been linked to children's emotion understanding. Specific language impairment (SLI) may compromise developing emotion understanding and adjustment. Aims: We investigated emotion understanding in children with SLI and TD, in relation to mother-child conversation. Specifically, is cognitive, emotion, or causal MST more important for child emotion understanding and how might maternal scaffolding support this? Sample: Nine 5- to 9-year-old children with SLI and nine age-matched typically developing (TD) children, and their mothers. Method: We assessed children's language, emotion understanding and reported behavioural adjustment. Mother-child conversations were coded for MST, including emotion, cognition, and causal talk, and for scaffolding of causal talk. Results: Children with SLI scored lower than TD children on emotion understanding and adjustment. Mothers in each group provided similar amounts of cognitive, emotion, and causal talk, but SLI children used proportionally less cognitive and causal talk than TD children did, and more such child talk predicted better child emotion understanding. Child emotion talk did not differ between groups and did not predict emotion understanding. Both groups participated in maternal-scaffolded causal talk, but causal talk about emotion was more frequent in TD children, and such talk predicted higher emotion understanding. Conclusions: Cognitive and causal language scaffolded by mothers provides tools for articulating increasingly complex ideas about emotion, predicting children's emotion understanding. Our study provides a robust method for studying scaffolding processes for understanding causes of emotion.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A