Communicative Functions of Preschoolers and their Mothers Across Cultures and Socioeconomic Status Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Kasambira, Danai Connie F.
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • The purpose of this study was to describe the cognitive-communicative functions demonstrated by typically developing preschoolers and their mothers during teaching and play interactions with a focus on differences in these communicative functions across racial/ethnic group, socioeconomic status (SES), and gender. The relationship between mothers' and preschoolers' communicative functions, as well as the relationship between mothers' and preschoolers' communicative functions and children's vocabulary, language, and social skills was examined. Data from the Familial and Social Environments of Young Children study, a supplement to the National Center for Early Development and Learning's (NCEDL) Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten, were analyzed for this dissertation. Secondary analyses of race/ethnicity, SES, gender; and child outcomes variables of receptive and expressive language, vocabulary, and teacher ratings of the children's social skills were conducted using the NCEDL dataset. A coding system adapted from the work of Joan Tough (1982; 1984) and Ida Stockman (1996) was developed to calculate descriptive statistics for Means and Standard Deviations of frequencies of individual communicative functions per racial, SES, and gender group. Linear regression was utilized to analyze the relationship between communicative functions and children's language and social skills (N = 95), and whether the frequency and type of communicative functions differed by race/ethnicity, SES, and/or gender (N = 95). Pearson's correlations were conducted to identify any relationships between mothers' communicative functions and children's communicative functions. Results showed significant relationships between particular mother communicative functions and child communicative functions and outcomes. Few child communicative functions, however, predicted child outcomes. Rather, demographic factors such as SES, gender, and race/ethnicity, along with certain mother communicative functions, had a stronger link with the child outcomes. These results contribute to the literature on preschoolers' communicative function use, and the association among these communicative functions, academics, and social skills. Furthermore, the results provide data on how mothers' communicative function use might relate to their children's, and how culture and gender might play a role in a child's communicative function use. This information can be used to promote understanding of different pragmatic communication styles in preschoolers in order to improve assessment and intervention practices for all children.
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  • Crais, Elizabeth
  • Barbarin, Oscar A.
  • Open access

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