The interactions of 24-, 30-, and 36-month-old children and their mothers reading two initially unfamiliar books were observed three times over a 2-week period. Coding characterized both the content and the role of their utterances as they discussed the stories. Utterance content depended on child age but changed little with increasing story familiarity. Focus on narrative intangibles such as characters’ feelings and explanations of actions increased from 24 to 30 months, and the number of children who asked questions about these intangibles also increased with age. In contrast, utterance role depended primarily on story familiarity and varied only slightly with child age. The implications of these findings for the child’s emerging narrative competence are discussed.
McArthur, Duncan; Adamson, Lauren B.; and Deckner, Deborah F.
"As Stories Become Familiar: Mother-Child
Conversations During Shared Reading,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 51
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol51/iss4/2