Cultural Differences in Beliefs and Practices Concerning Talk to Children 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 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2002
Cultural Differences in Beliefs and Practices Concerning Talk to Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Judith R. Johnston, PhD
    University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada
  • M.-Y. Anita Wong
    University of Hong Kong
  • Contact author: Judith Johnston, PhD, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3, Canada. E-mail: jrj@audiospeech.ubc.ca
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2002
Cultural Differences in Beliefs and Practices Concerning Talk to Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2002, Vol. 45, 916-926. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/074)
History: Received January 22, 2002 , Accepted April 9, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2002, Vol. 45, 916-926. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/074)
History: Received January 22, 2002; Accepted April 9, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 48

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.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this report were presented in earlier papers to the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association and the British Columbia Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists. The study was funded by grants from the Hampton Research Fund and the Community Care Foundation. We thank them for their support. Special thanks also to our professional consultants: Lisa Avery, Cindy Bruce, Martha Crago, Carolyn Johnson, Angela Kwok, Elizabeth MacLeod, Anne vanKleeck, and Kate Wishart; to backtranslator Melody Ki Chow Wong; and to data processor Darryl Quantz. The project would not have been possible without the support and involvement of administrators and staff at the Richmond Health Department and the Kiwassa Neighborhood House, in particular Jan Weaver, Kim Au, Karen Szeto. The authors contributed equally to this study.
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