Communication dynamics between mothers and their children with cochlear implants: Effects of maternal support for language production

This study examined (a) the functions and modalities of maternal and child communication during interaction between mothers and children with cochlear implants (CIs), comparing them with mothers and normally hearing (NH) children, and (b) the effectiveness of maternal support strategies in eliciting adequate answers in children with CI. Twenty preschoolers with CIs (M = 40 months) and 40 NH children – 20 matched by chronological age (CANH, M = 40 months) and 20 matched by hearing age (HANH, M = 25 months) – were videotaped during shared book reading and toy play with their mothers. Child and maternal utterances were coded for communicative functions and modalities (vocal, gestural, bimodal), including gesture types; maternal repairs were examined for type of support provided, and child answers for adequacy. Mothers in the CI group and in the CANH group displayed higher proportions of Informative Repairs than mothers of HANH children. However, unlike the mothers of NH children, mothers of children with CIs used bimodal utterances significantly more than vocal utterances. Sequential analysis revealed that maternal Informative Repairs elicited the production of Adequate Answers in both children with CIs and CANH. Interestingly, in the CI group this association was found only when Informative Repairs were accompanied by gestures. These findings offer suggestions for intervention programs focused on parent-child conversation. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.

This study examined (a) the functions and modalities of maternal and child communication during interaction between mothers and children with cochlear implants (CIs), comparing them with mothers and normally hearing (NH) children, and (b) the effectiveness of maternal support strategies in eliciting adequate answers in children with CI. Twenty preschoolers with CIs (M = 40 months) and 40 NH children – 20 matched by chronological age (CANH, M = 40 months) and 20 matched by hearing age (HANH, M = 25 months) – were videotaped during shared book reading and toy play with their mothers. Child and maternal utterances were coded for communicative functions and modalities (vocal, gestural, bimodal), including gesture types; maternal repairs were examined for type of support provided, and child answers for adequacy. Mothers in the CI group and in the CANH group displayed higher proportions of Informative Repairs than mothers of HANH children. However, unlike the mothers of NH children, mothers of children with CIs used bimodal utterances significantly more than vocal utterances. Sequential analysis revealed that maternal Informative Repairs elicited the production of Adequate Answers in both children with CIs and CANH. Interestingly, in the CI group this association was found only when Informative Repairs were accompanied by gestures. These findings offer suggestions for intervention programs focused on parent-child conversation. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.

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