Effect of Adult Continuing Wh-Questions on Conversational Participation in Children With Developmental Disabilities Children with developmental disabilities often converse less frequently than their developmentally matched peers. This low conversational participation can cause problems for the children’s future language and discourse development. The purpose of this experimental study was to test the hypothesis that adult topic-continuing wh-questions would elicit topic continuations in children with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1994
Effect of Adult Continuing Wh-Questions on Conversational Participation in Children With Developmental Disabilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul J. Yoder
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Betty Davies
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Kerri Bishop
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Leslie Munson
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Paul Yoder, Peabody Box 328, Special Education Department, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203. E-Mail (Internet) : yoderpj@ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1994
Effect of Adult Continuing Wh-Questions on Conversational Participation in Children With Developmental Disabilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 193-204. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.193
History: Received March 2, 1993 , Accepted September 20, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 193-204. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.193
History: Received March 2, 1993; Accepted September 20, 1993

Children with developmental disabilities often converse less frequently than their developmentally matched peers. This low conversational participation can cause problems for the children’s future language and discourse development. The purpose of this experimental study was to test the hypothesis that adult topic-continuing wh-questions would elicit topic continuations in children with relatively low language ability, but not in children with relatively high language ability. Twenty-three children with developmental delays interacted with an adult who conducted two play sessions. In each session, the adult used a different interaction style. The two styles differed in the adult’s use of topic-continuing wh-questions. Results indicate that adult use of topic-continuing wh-questions supported the use of child continuations in children at all language levels. The type of continuations (single word versus multiword) that were elicited depended on the language level of the children. Clinical implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by NICHD Grant No. HD22812, but does not necessarily reflect the views of NICHD. We are grateful to the parents and children who participated in our research.
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