The relationship between specific mother-child interactions and selected aspects of language development in Head Start children Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4b29b841w

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  • Language development in Head Start children
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  • The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between specific mother-child interactions and selected aspects of language development in "disadvantaged" children. The subjects were 19 preschool children in a summer Head Start program in Denver, Colorado. Their ages ranged from four years-nine months to five years-seven months. Eighteen were Spanish-American, and one was Anglo-American. Eighteen out of 19 subjects met the eligibility requirements for the Head Start program in terms of income level according to household size. Each of the subjects attended either a morning or an afternoon session in the same center, under the direction of two different teachers. Due to the teacher variable, the children in each session were matched according to age, sex, and previous Head Start experience and randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. The experimental treatment consisted of having the mother spend approximately 15 minutes each day with her child in the home, looking at, reading, and talking about picture story books. Language development was recognized in its broadest sense and was measured by three instruments: the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, as a measure of receptive vocabulary; the Templin-Darley Screening Test of Articulation, as an indicator of good and poor articulation; and the Preschool Inventory, as a measure of its four factors: personal-social responsiveness, associative vocabulary, numerical and sensory concept activation. Pre and post tests were administered to the experimental and control groups. aid an analysis of variance was applied to the difference scores. Three null hypotheses were tested: Hypothesis I: Comparison of change scores for the experimental and control groups will yield no significant differences in receptive vocabulary; Hypothesis II: Comparison of change scores for the experimental and control groups will yield no significant differences in articulation; Hypothesis III: Comparison of change scores for the experimental and control groups will yield no significant differences in personal-social responsiveness, associative vocabulary, numerical and sensory concept activation. Results of the analysis of variance indicated that there were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups. Although there was one significant F-value associated with the interaction between treatment and sex in numerical concept activation, a great deal of importance could not be attached to it in view of the lack of other significant findings. Therefore, the null hypotheses could not be rejected. It was concluded that the experimental treatment of having the mothers read to their children was not related to the aspects of language development under consideration in this study. Supplementary analyses were directed toward a comparison of the morning and afternoon groups with respect to change scores. The student's t-test was applied for each of the seven comparisons and only one, the PSI total score, showed a significant difference at the .05 level. The possibility of tester bias having been operative during the post test sessions was discussed. A discussion of the findings, the limitations of the study, and suggestions for further research were included. In general, it was suggested that attempting to influence the mother-child interaction in the home in order to stimulate language development is a promising area which needs to be further explored.
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