Reports  |   February 1985
Effects of Older Siblings on the Language Young Children Hear and Produce
Article Information
Reports   |   February 1985
Effects of Older Siblings on the Language Young Children Hear and Produce
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, February 1985, Vol. 50, 84-99. doi:10.1044/jshd.5001.84
History: Received June 21, 1984 , Accepted November 3, 1984
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, February 1985, Vol. 50, 84-99. doi:10.1044/jshd.5001.84
History: Received June 21, 1984; Accepted November 3, 1984

Mothers told stories to their children, inserting 30 questions about each story under two conditions. In one situation, mothers were alone with their younger child, and in the other condition, an older sibling was also present. During the question-answer interactions, older siblings responded to 60%–65% of all mothers' questions before younger children had a chance to respond and provided direct answers to the questions in 57%–65% of those instances. Mothers responded by producing fewer rephrased questions, fewer questions providing hints and answers, fewer questions functioning as repetitions and expansions, and more directly repeated questions when the older sibling was present. The effect of older siblings' first responses also reduced by half the number of younger children's utterances. The younger children produced fewer noncontent and content answers and more imitated answers in the presence of the older sibling. It is concluded that the presence of older siblings may influence the language young children hear and produce.

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