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Low-income fathers’ speech to toddlers during book reading versus toy play*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2015

VIRGINIA C. SALO*
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
MEREDITH L. ROWE
Affiliation:
Harvard University Graduate School of Education
KATHRYN A. LEECH
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park and Harvard University Graduate School of Education
NATASHA J. CABRERA
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
*
Address for correspondence: Virginia C. Salo, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, 3304 Benjamin Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; e-mail: vcsalo@umd.edu

Abstract

Fathers’ child-directed speech across two contexts was examined. Father–child dyads from sixty-nine low-income families were videotaped interacting during book reading and toy play when children were 2;0. Fathers used more diverse vocabulary and asked more questions during book reading while their mean length of utterance was longer during toy play. Variation in these specific characteristics of fathers’ speech that differed across contexts was also positively associated with child vocabulary skill measured on the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory. Results are discussed in terms of how different contexts elicit specific qualities of child-directed speech that may promote language use and development.

Type
Brief Research Reports
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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Footnotes

[*]

This research was supported by an NIH grant (R03 from NICHD: HD066017) to Natasha Cabrera and Meredith Rowe. The first author also received support from the NICHD Training Program in Social Development Grant (NIH T32 HD007542) awarded to the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland by the NICHD. We are grateful to Bridget Mullan for her administrative work on this project, and to Jenessa Malin, Elizabeth Karberg, Simone Templeton, Jeff Wang, Sophia Castro, and Jennifer Anderson for help with transcription and coding.

References

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