Correlation between communicative functions of mothers and preschoolers of different racial and income groups
Kasambira Fannin, Danai, 1974--
Crais, Elizabeth R.
Barbarin, Oscar, A.
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While language differences by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) have been identified, the domain of pragmatics, specifically, communicative functions (CF) has been understudied. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate mothers’ CF use with African American, European American, and Latino American boys and girls of middle and low SES. CFs were coded from each dyads’ (N=95) learning and play interaction from the National Center for Early Development and Learning’s (NCEDL, 2005) study of Family and Social Environments (Aikens, Coleman, & Bryant, 2008). Demographic factors were correlated with talkativeness, and Directing and Mother Directing, Responding, and Projecting were important predictors. Gender predicted child Self-maintaining and Predicting, and limited child demographic predictors suggest that they might not affect CFs as directly as mother CFs. Identification of associations among mother demographics and CFs can enhance comprehension of home communication styles for researchers and clinicians to better understand referral decision-making based on pragmatic indices for diverse preschoolers.