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dc.contributor.advisorSchaughency, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.advisorReese, Elaine
dc.contributor.authorDas, Shika Anjanita
dc.identifier.citationDas, S. A. (2019). Rich Reading and Reminiscing: Benefits of Parent-Preschooler Interactions for Children’s Developing Language, Behavioural Regulation, and Socio-Emotional Competencies (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractGiven the importance of the preschool years in the development of children’s language, behavioural regulation and socio-emotional competencies, the purpose of this thesis was to empirically examine relations between parent-child interactions during shared book reading and reminiscing and children’s development of these competencies. Within the context of a larger, longitudinal preventive intervention study, this thesis investigated the relations between the style and content of parent-child interactions to children’s developing outcomes using two research designs. The first design involved a correlational examination of parents and children’s talk during shared book reading and reminiscing and children’s concurrent behavioural regulation and socio-emotional competencies within a New Zealand sample. The main findings of this set of analyses documented the wide variability in parent-child interactions, with differences in parent-child interactions associated with variability in children’s developing competencies. Moreover, regression analyses indicated differential moderating effects of children’s story comprehension on the links between parent-child interactions variables when reminiscing about a positive event and children’s concurrent behavioural regulation. When examining parent’s talk in these reminiscing interactions, analyses revealed that children who displayed lower levels of story comprehension demonstrated greater behavioural regulation when their parents were more talkative and elaborative when reminiscing. In contrast, when examining children’s talk in these reminiscing interactions, children who used more emotion content and displayed higher levels of story comprehension performed better on the behavioural regulation task. Context-specific differences were also found in parents’ and children’s use of emotion content, highlighting the importance of focusing on learning contexts that provide opportunities for discussing socio-emotional themes. Of particular importance, aspects of children’s verbal interactions were differentially related to their own developing competencies. The results of this study suggest both shared book reading and reminiscing conversations potentially provide valuable independent learning contexts in which to further develop parent-child interactions. Further intervention research was required to test this hypothesis and better understand the influence of promoting conversation-enhancing strategies within these two contexts on children’s language, behavioural regulation and socio-emotional outcomes. The second research design was a longitudinal investigation of the short-term and longer-term benefits of participation in one of three versions of a six-week parent-mediated preventive intervention. For this thesis, participation and implementation of the intervention condition, Rich Reading and Reminiscing (RRR) was compared to two control conditions, Strengthening Sound Sensitivity (SSS) and an activity-based control (ABC) to evaluate condition-specific benefits for parent-child interactions and children’s developing competencies. Utilizing a single parent education session and supported implementation, parents were taught conversation-enhancing strategies to engage and encourage elaborative, cognitive and socio-emotionally rich interactions with their preschool aged children during shared book reading and reminiscing. Initial comparative analyses revealed no statistically significant differences in parent-child interactions or children’s outcomes as a function of condition. However, repeated measures analyses within conditions provided some support for RRR. In general, investigation of the benefits of participation showed specific increases on the proximal targets of change (i.e. parent-child interaction variables). In particular, findings revealed increases in the extra-textual cognitive and emotion content of parent-child shared book reading as a function of participation and implementation of the RRR condition. Moderation and simple slopes analyses suggested that in some cases, these relations were moderated by parents’ and children’s initial use of content-specific content at pre-test. Simple slopes analyses examining relations between participation and parents’ cognitive content during shared book reading at post-test found that participation in the RRR condition was associated with higher levels of parents’ cognitive content at post-test, irrespective of parents’ initial levels of cognitive talk. Although the slope appeared steeper for parents displaying initially higher levels of cognitive talk, post-test levels observed for parents displaying lower initial levels suggested participation potentially offset these initial differences in parent talk. For children, those who initially demonstrated mean levels or higher levels of emotion talk during shared book reading were found to use higher levels of emotion talk post-intervention following participation in the RRR condition. However, programme implementation was also found to moderate children’s cognitive content use during shared book reading. In particular, children who displayed lower pre-test levels of cognitive content and who had higher engagement in post-reading activities demonstrated greater relative change in their extra-textual cognitive talk post-intervention. Furthermore, cross-sectional time-series analyses found increases in some aspects of parents’ and children’s talk during observed interactions were positively and differentially related to increases in children’s competencies from pre-test to post-test. The main findings from multivariate regression analyses examining links between parent-child interactions following participation revealed parents’ and children’s content-specific talk at post-test was linked to children’s concurrent language and behavioural regulation at immediate post-test. Interestingly, sleeper effects were also evident in the potential benefits of parent-child interactions for children’s later socio-emotional development. Specifically, relative increases in parents’ and children’s emotion content during shared book reading predicted higher levels of children’s behavioural regulation and socio-emotional competencies at seven month follow-up. This thesis makes unique contributions to the New Zealand and international literature by investigating children and parents in parent-child interactions in each of the empirical chapters. It explores the unique relations of children’s participation in parent-child interactions to their own learning and development as well as examining links between parenting behaviour and child outcomes. Furthermore, it addresses some of the current issues and barriers noted in parent-mediated preventive intervention research. Through the development of creative methods to support and document implementation, this thesis provides preliminary support for reducing the number of parent education sessions and supporting implementation through the use of book inserts for parents to use in vivo in shared reading with their children. It supports the use of a user-friendly and quantifiable measure of programme implementation to systematically assess intervention-related change. It also considers an alternative relative change approach to the measurement and analysis of parent-child interactions, which may provide a treatment-sensitive index of intervention-related effects on parent-child interactions and child outcomes. And finally, it provides preliminary empirical support for Rich Reading and Reminiscing (RRR) in fostering preschool aged children’s language, behavioural regulation and socio-emotional competencies.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectshared book reading
dc.subjectsocio-emotional competencies
dc.subjectbehavioural regulation
dc.subjectNew Zealand children
dc.titleRich Reading and Reminiscing: Benefits of Parent-Preschooler Interactions for Children’s Developing Language, Behavioural Regulation, and Socio-Emotional Competencies
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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