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Title:Early Vocabulary Acquisition by Down Syndrome Children: The Roles of Cognitive Development and Maternal Language Input
Author(s):Martins, Claudia Cardoso
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role played by cognitive and social interactional factors in the early development of comprehension and production of object names by Down syndrome (DS) children.
Six DS child-mother dyads and six individually matched normal child-mother dyads participated in the study. At the beginning of the study, the DS children ranged between 16 and 19 months old. The normal children were 9 months old. Each dyad was visited at home approximately every six weeks, for 14-20 months. Each visit included both a 30-minute audio-taped play session (during which mother and child played together) and systematic testing for comprehension and production of object names. Some visits also included assessments of cognitive development.
The results of the present study suggest that DS children start to comprehend and produce language at the same level of cognitive development as normal children. However, the language development of DS children soon starts to lag behind their level of cognitive development.
Two aspects of the vocabulary development of DS children, relative to the development of normal children, were investigated: frequency of spontaneous production of object names and rate of vocabulary acquisition in both comprehension and production. The DS children used language less often than the normal children. In addition, rate of vocabulary acquisition was slower for the DS children, for both comprehension and production. As mentioned above, the vocabulary development of the DS children lagged behind their level of cognitive development. Factors other than DS children's slower rate of cognitive development must, therefore, also contribute to DS children's slower rate of vocabulary development. The results of the present study suggest that certain characteristics of maternal language to DS children (e.g., infrequent feedback for the child's action) may have a negative impact on DS children's early process of vocabulary acquisition. The results of the present study also suggest that maternal language may play a more decisive role in the vocabulary development of DS children than in the vocabulary development of normal children.
Issue Date:1984
Type:Text
Description:286 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/69648
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8422128
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984


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