Parent-Child Interaction with Children with Specific Language Impairment

This quantitative observational study focuses on the pragmatic, affective, and linguistic aspects of mother-child communication with children who have Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Children who have SLI may struggle to use or understand language, even though they have typical cognitive abilities; this typically leads to differences in the ways that they interact with their parents.

This study will investigate mother-child communication by using the Inventory of Communicative Acts-Abridged (INCA-A) coding system. INCA-A will be applied to parent-child communication during semi-structured play scenarios to better understand the communicative intents of parents and their children with SLI.

Research questions for this project include the following:

  • What types of pragmatic language do mothers and children use?
  • Are there differences in mothers’ and children’s pragmatic language use based on the task in which they are engaged?
  • Are there differences in mothers’ and children’s pragmatic language use based on the children’s general language abilities?

This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Lori Skibbe from the Early Language and Literacy Investigations Lab.

Research Presentations

Manns, E.T., Lennon, K.C., Decker, K.B., Skibbe, L.E. & Vallotton, C.D. (April, 2011). Measuring Parent-Child Communication during Semi-Structured Interaction in Dyads that Include Children with Specific Language Impairment. Poster presented at the University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI.