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Conner, J. et al. (2014) A Play and Language Intervention for Two-Year-Old Children: Implications for Improving Play Skills and Language (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to develop an intervention for 2-year-old children to enhance play and language skills. The intervention was implemented over a 4-week period and included components of reading, modeling, and positive reinforcement of language and play. Specifically, children were read a story and played with a matching toy set. Participants included 10 children, all age 2, who attended a child care center. Five participants received the play intervention, and five were used as comparison. All children were assessed using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES), the Preschool Language Scale (PLS), and a Vocabulary Assessment. The results of this study showed that children who received the intervention increased pretend play more than the comparison group and also increased comprehension and expressive communication skills more than the comparison group. Implications for early childhood educators and parents are discussed.

Date:
January 2014
Volume:
28
Page/s:
221-237
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Hobson, J. et al. (2015) Symbolizing as interpersonally grounded shifts in meaning: social play in children with and without autism (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to examine the relation between symbolic play and communicative engagement among children with and without autism. Our predictions were firstly, that in moment-by-moment interactions during semi-structured interactive play with an adult, children with and without autism would tend to show shifts in meanings in symbolic play when engaged in coordinated states of joint engagement (events involving 'sharing-of-meaning'); secondly, that across atypically developing participants, sharing-of-meaning would (a) correlate with scores on a standardized test of pretend play, and (b) be inversely correlated with scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; and finally, that participants with autism would contrast with matched developmentally delayed participants in manifesting lower levels of joint engagement, lower levels of symbolic play, and fewer shifts in symbolic meaning. Each of these predictions was borne out. The intimate developmental relation between social engagement and symbolic play appears to be important for explaining the developmental psychopathology of autism.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
45
Page/s:
42-52
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Symbolic play
Research discipline:

McCune, L. et al. (2015) Dynamic systems in semiotic development: The transition to reference (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Semiotic development involves the development of at least two different kinds of meaning: intersubjective and representational. By attending to these two kinds of meaning we are able to predict one of the major transitions in early childhood: the transition to reference. From a dynamic systems perspective we track essential developments which, when all have reached critical values, prompt the transition to referential word production and/or comprehension in the first half of the second year of life. We present the background of the four variables included in the model: (a) representational play, (b) vocalization ability, (c) gesture, and (d) developments in autonomic vocalization culminating in communicative grunts. We further demonstrate their efficacy in predicting the transition in a longitudinal sample of 10 children. Additional study is needed to confirm the role of these developments and to extend the approach to languages other than English and more advanced levels of semiotic development.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
36
Page/s:
161-170
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Longitudinal
  • Semiotic play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Vallotton, C. et al. (2016) Parenting Supports for Early Vocabulary Development: Specific Effects of Sensitivity and Stimulation through Infancy (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Growing recognition of disparities in early childhood language environments prompts examination of parent-child interactions, which support vocabulary. Research links parental sensitivity and cognitive stimulation to child language, but has not explicitly contrasted their effects, nor examined how effects may change over time. We examined maternal sensitivity and stimulation throughout infancy using two observational methods?ratings of parents? interaction qualities and coding of discrete parenting behaviors?to assess the relative importance of these qualities to child vocabulary over time and determine whether mothers make related changes in response to children's development. Participants were 146 infants and mothers, assessed when infants were 14, 24, and 36 months. At 14 months, sensitivity had a stronger effect on vocabulary than did stimulation, but the effect of stimulation grew throughout toddlerhood. Mothers? cognitive stimulation grew over time, whereas sensitivity remained stable. While discrete parenting behaviors changed with child age, there was no evidence of trade?offs between sensitive and stimulating behaviors, and no evidence that sensitivity moderated the effect of stimulation on child vocabulary. Findings demonstrate specificity of timing in the link between parenting qualities and child vocabulary, which could inform early parent interventions, and support a reconceptualization of the nature and measurement of parental sensitivity.

Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
22
Page/s:
78-107
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
  • Language
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Whitebread, D. (2018) Play Piece: Play and Self-regulation (Blog Post)

Abstract:

Self-regulation helps a child guide their thoughts, emotions and behaviours to accomplish a goal – how does play support this important area of development?

Read our whole Play Piece here.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2018
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Self-regulation
Relevant age group/s: