Do Parental Questions and Topic Continuations Elicit Replies from Developmentally Delayed Children? A Sequential Analysis Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1990
Do Parental Questions and Topic Continuations Elicit Replies from Developmentally Delayed Children?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul J. Yoder
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Betty Davies
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Paul J. Yoder, Vanderbilt University, Peabody Box 154, Nashville, TN 37203.
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1990
Do Parental Questions and Topic Continuations Elicit Replies from Developmentally Delayed Children?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1990, Vol. 33, 563-573. doi:10.1044/jshr.3303.563
History: Received July 24, 1989 , Accepted April 3, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1990, Vol. 33, 563-573. doi:10.1044/jshr.3303.563
History: Received July 24, 1989; Accepted April 3, 1990

This sequential analysis tested the relative extent to which several adult utterance types elicited conversational replies from developmentally delayed children. Eight developmentally delayed children in Brown’s stages I and II and their primary parents were the subjects. Parent-child pairs were video and audio taped during their interactions with experimenter-provided toys in a lab setting. Transcripts of the interactions were coded for adult topic relatedness and obligation level and for child topic relatedness, length, and intelligibility. The results indicated that child replies of any length were elicited by adult topic continuations more than by any other adult utterance type. If a new topic was initiated, explicit prompts for child talk elicited child replies more than other adult utterance types. Multiword child replies were most likely to be elicited by explicit prompts that continued the child’s topic. Child effects on the presence and effectiveness of adult conversational recruiting strategies were also tested.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Part of these data was presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March, 1989. This research is supported by NICHD Grant No. HD22812.
The authors gratefully acknowledge Jon Tapp for many hours of computer programming and program design; O. T. Kenworthy for sharing his coding system, dissertation, and ideas about mother-child interaction; Leila Roach, Gerard Love, Jodi
Bushdieker, Ben Lancaster, and Debra Smithson for their help in running subjects, transcribing, and coding data; the children and parents for participating in our study; and Steve Warren for insightful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
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