Cultural Differences in Beliefs and Practices Concerning Talk to Children

Johnston, Judith R.; Wong, M.-Y. Anita
October 2002
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2002, Vol. 45 Issue 5, p916
Academic Journal
Sporadic observations of non-Western culture groups have made it clear that the large literature on child-directed talk primarily describes Western parent-child interaction patterns. The current study used a survey instrument to contrast the childrearing beliefs and related verbal interaction practices of Chinese and Western mothers of preschoolers. Stepwise regression procedures indicated that culture differences in ratings for 6 belief statements and 5 interaction patterns accounted for 66-67% of the total variance. Discriminate functions derived from the regression analyses identified members of the two culture groups with 94-95% accuracy. The findings call into question the advice commonly given to parents of children with language delay and point to specific areas where practices more harmonious with Chinese culture could be recommended.


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