Does parent-child interaction differ when using electronically advanced toys in comparison to non-electronic toys?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Many Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) treatments for Early Years children deliver an indirect approach to treatment by providing parents with training and advice regarding how to increase the quality of their parent-child interactions (PCI). There are concerns regarding electronic toys and their potential impacts on PCI and consequently language development. Aim: To gain an insight into whether PCI differs when using electronically advanced toys in comparison to non-electronic toys, specifically regarding frequency of parental verbal utterances, parental directivity and redirection of a child’s attention. Methodology: Video recordings of mother-child dyads playing with an electronic and a non-electronic toy were collected. Quantitative data was collected in the form of mother’s utterances and child responses from video recordings which were categorised, counted and analysed. Results: Through analysis of video transcripts, a number of interactions which may differ when using electronic toys were identified. The mothers in this study used fewer verbal utterances, were more directive and redirected their child’s attention less often in comparison to the non-electronic toys. Conclusion and Implications: The results suggest there are a range of play interactions that may differ when mothers use electronic toys to play with their child. In clinical practice, SLTs should consider the uses of electronic toys and the impact they have on PCI and consequently language development. Education should be provided regarding the potential benefits and issues of different toy types.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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