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ERIC Number: EJ992589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Mother-Child Communication about Location: Giving and Following Directions for Finding Hidden Objects
Plumert, Jodie M.; Haggerty, Kathryn A.; Mickunas, Andrew; Herzog, Lauren; Shadrick, Courtney
Developmental Psychology, v48 n4 p956-968 Jul 2012
We conducted 2 experiments to examine how mothers structure directions to young children for finding hidden objects and how young children use these directions to guide their searches. In Experiment 1, we examined the reference frames mothers use to communicate with their 2.5-, 3-, and 3.5-year-old children about location by asking mothers to verbally disambiguate a target hiding container from an identical nontarget hiding container. We found that mothers' reference frame use was primarily governed by the relative proximity of the target container to the landmark and themselves. Older children were more successful in following directions than were younger children, and children were more likely to search successfully in response to a person than to a landmark frame of reference. In Experiment 2, we further investigated how 3-year-old children follow directions involving person and landmark frames of reference by asking mothers to use either only themselves or only the landmark to describe the target location. Children in the person reference frame condition successfully followed their mother's directions when the target was relatively close to the mother, but not when the target was relatively far from the mother. Children in the landmark reference frame condition were at chance regardless of the relative proximity of the target to the landmark. The discussion focuses on the roles of spatial proximity and reference frames in mother-child spatial communication. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
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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