The Bidirectional Association Between Maternal Speech and Child Characteristics

The Bidirectional Association Between Maternal Speech and Child Characteristics

The Bidirectional Association Between Maternal Speech and Child Characteristics

The Bidirectional Association Between Maternal Speech and Child Characteristicss

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Référence bibliographique [21058]

Mimeau, Catherine, Cantin, Édith, Tremblay, Richard E., Boivin, Michel et Dionne, Ginette. 2020. «The Bidirectional Association Between Maternal Speech and Child Characteristics ». Journal of Child Language, vol. 47, no 2, p. 435-456.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
The objective of the present study is «to investigate the bidirectional association between different aspects of maternal speech in infancy (quantity, sensitivity, and self-repetition) and child characteristics, including language.» (p. 440)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«Participants came from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study. All parents of twins born in the greater Montréal area (Quebec, Canada) between 1995 and 1998 were approached to take part in that study.» (p. 440) The final sample included 510 twins.

Instruments :
Questionnaires

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


In light of their results, authors mention «that sensitivity and partial self-repetition are important for language, particularly in early childhood. When an infant behaves with the intention to play with a toy and his mother is being sensitive to this intention by talking to him about the toy, it helps the infant learn the label of this specific toy, to which he is already devoting his attention […]. By surrounding the toy’s label by different words in different utterances (i.e., by using self-repetition), the mother can further help her child extract the label from her speech stream. Indeed, infants were shown to use surrounding speech sounds in order to learn new words […]. As the child gets older and knowledgeable of most of the words he hears, other cues in his environment (e.g., new words, more complex sentence structures) become more important to help him develop his language skills. […] Aside from maternal speech, [the authors] also found that other maternal variables were associated with child language: education and perceived parental impact. The role of maternal education in child language is well known, and it can be explained, among other things, by the fact that more educated mothers use more complex language with their child than less educated mothers […].» (p. 450-451)