Document Detail

Cultural variations in attention regulation: a comparative analysis of British and Chinese-immigrant populations.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12396843     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recent intervention for young children has included parent training. The premise for this training is based in research on parent-child interaction. However, these studies have focused on white, middle-class families. More recent research suggests that not all cultures follow the same pattern. This study explored the relationship between attention regulation, pragmatic input, object manipulation and later language competence in Chinese-immigrant and British caregiver-infant dyads. Microanalytical techniques were used to explore observational data derived from a longitudinal study of 10 caregivers and their infants at 9 and 12 months of age. Relations among selected mother and infant activities, notably caregiver control of and responsiveness to attentional focus in infants and object/infant manipulation, were evaluated. Two styles of attention regulation were found across groups. British caretakers responded to their infant's behaviours by following their lead, whereas Chinese caretakers directed their infant's attention. These styles were supported by non-verbal behaviours such as object manipulation on the part of the caretaker. No differences between the two groups in expressive vocabulary size at age 18 months were found, suggesting that attention regulation styles of directing a child's attention or following a child's lead need further investigation to determine the relationship with vocabulary acquisition. Results show that parents begin to use a particular style of interaction with their children at a very young age. Further research is required to determine if this style continues through the language-learning years. Furthermore, this study suggests that speech and language therapists must be aware that the communication style of ethnic minorities on their caseloads maybe different from mainstream culture; and with this knowledge service providers will be able to serve those communities better and avoid potential cultural bias.
Debra C Vigil
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of language & communication disorders / Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1368-2822     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Lang Commun Disord     Publication Date:    2002 Oct-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-10-24     Completed Date:  2002-12-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9803709     Medline TA:  Int J Lang Commun Disord     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  433-58     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89523, USA.
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MeSH Terms
China / ethnology
Emigration and Immigration
Great Britain / ethnology
Infant Behavior
Longitudinal Studies
Mother-Child Relations / ethnology*
Mothers / psychology
Nonverbal Communication / psychology

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