Maternal Strategies During Parent-Child Free Play: Effect of Child's Hearing Status
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Series/Report no.:2016 Fall Undergraduate Research Student Poster Forum. 10th
Early face-to-face interactions between infants and their caregivers sets the stage for later language development. As social, cognitive, and motor skills emerge with age, parent-child dyads begin to engage in object play. When children are born with sensorineural hearing loss, they do not have access to sound during these exchanges. Some families decide to pursue cochlear implantation (CI), giving children access to sound for the first time. Previous research has found that parent-child interactions become more synchronous following CI, but no work has yet looked at the nature of how mothers manage free-play sessions with their children. Do they engage in more dyadic play relative to age-matched peers, to compensate for the lack of early auditory input? We hypothesized mothers with children with CIs would spend a greater proportion of time in dyadic play. Our sample included a group of children implanted before 2 years old (N = 10, Mage = 20.4 months old, six female) and a group of age-matched peers (N = 8). We coded maternal behavior during a five-minute parent-child interaction in the lab, in which several objects (e.g., key, stuffed dog) were present. We adapted a coding scheme from Bakeman and Adamson (1984) and Labrell (1996). Analyses revealed that contrary to our hypothesis, mothers with children with CIs engaged in more object play (Mproportion of time = 0.73) than mothers with infants with normal hearing (Mproportion of time =0.378), and this difference was significant, t(16) = -3.46, p = 0.003. The groups also differed on dyadic play, as mothers with children with CIs engaged in less dyadic play (Mproportion of time =0.47) than mothers with infants with normal hearing (Mproportion of time =0.211), and this difference was also significant, t(16)=2.57 , p=.029. Future research will investigate how maternal play strategies predict later language, offering one possible avenue for intervention.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Academic Major: Speech and Hearing Science
Summer Research Fellowship from The Ohio State Undergraduate Research Office