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Interrelations between communicative behaviors at the outset of speech: parents as observers*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 January 2010

Tel Aviv University
University of British Columbia
Address for correspondence: Professor Esther Dromi, Constantiner School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel, 69978. fax: 972-3-648-0249; e-mail:


The Hebrew Parent Questionnaire for Communication and Early Language (HPQ-CEL) was administered by 154 parents of Hebrew-speaking toddlers aged 1 ; 0 to 1 ; 3 (77 boys, 77 girls). The Questionnaire guided parents in observing and rating their toddlers in six contexts at home. The study aimed to identify inter-correlations between toddlers' non-linguistic behaviors that co-occur during the transition to speech. Seven communicative behaviors were extracted from the questionnaire data: Crying, Vocalizations, Collaboration with Adults, Pointing, Words, Joint Engagement in a Peek-a-Boo Game, and Triadic Interaction in Book Reading. Collaboration with Adults and Triadic Interaction in Book Reading yielded more significant correlations than other prelinguistic behaviors. Participation in social games and book-reading activities was associated with the toddlers' number of words at the period studied.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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We wish to mention with gratitude our late Italian colleague Dr Luigia Camaioni, who developed with her colleagues the Parent Questionnaire and gave us permission to use it in our research program. The data reported herein were collected in three separate studies: (1) Quality of Early Childcare at Haifa University, directed by Professor Avi Sagi-Schwartz and funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1 #HD25975); and (2) The MA dissertations of Dorit Shalom and of Anat Zaidman-Zait at Tel Aviv University. We thank Dorit Shalom, Dalia Ringwald–Frimerman, Esther Guralnik, Hadas Treitel and Julia Reznik for participation in the adaptation of the HPQ-CEL to Hebrew. Thanks are also extended to Dee B. Ankonina for her editorial help.



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