Quality of Parent-Child Book Reading as a Predictor of Children's Socio-Emotional Skills
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2021
Research has found that the quality of parents' mental state talk (e.g., emotions, desires) during shared book reading is related to children's emotion understanding (e.g., Doan, 2010; Garner, 1997). However, research connecting parents' mental state talk to children's social-emotional competence (e.g., helping others) is lacking. We aimed to examine parents' mental state talk with children during book reading as a predictor of children's social-emotional skills one year later. We hypothesized that parents who engaged their preschoolers in more mental state talk (emotion, cognition, and desire) and better quality of comments (e.g., explanations vs. unelaborated comments) will have children with lower problem behaviors and higher prosocial behavior scores one year later. Fifty parents completed an online study in which they were sent one of two storybooks to read to their 4- or 5-year-olds. Parents read the book to their child for the first time then uploaded a recording of the reading. One year later, parents reported their children's problem behaviors and prosocial skills in an online survey. We found that the more parents engaged in emotion talk with their child during shared reading, the lower their problem behavior scores. These skills are especially relevant because parent-child book reading could be a protective factor for children experiencing emotional difficulties caused by some unprecedented event, such as a global pandemic.
Academic Major: Psychology
The Ohio State University Undergraduate Research Scholarship
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