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Mothers' attention-getting utterances during shared book reading: Links to low-income preschoolers' verbal engagement, visual attention, and early literacy

This study examined associations among low-income mothers' use of attention-getting utterances during shared book reading, preschoolers' verbal engagement and visual attention to reading, and their early literacy skills (N=51). Mother-child shared book reading sessions were videotaped and coded for each utterance, including attention talk, contextualized talk, de-contextualized talk, and print talk. Preschoolers' attention during book reading was assessed using two measures: verbal engagement by using a rating scale of preschoolers' involvement in book reading discussion and visual attention by coding visual gaze. Findings indicated that mothers' attention talk was positively associated with children's verbal engagement, while maternal print talk was associated with children's visual attention. Further, low-level maternal print talk was associated with higher early decoding scores of children when it was accompanied with high-level maternal attention talk. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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