Parent Speech Rate and Language Development

A study done by Guitar and Marhinkoski (2001) examines the correlation between a mother’s speech rate and her child’s. Implications of speech rate, and the connection between mother and child are also discussed within the study. A simple ABAB design where the B segment contained mothers slowing their speech by fifty percent when talking to their child, was used in order to determine if children would follow their mothers lead.
Results of the study suggest that children do often slow their own speech when their mother slows her own. This is an important finding with regard to research that has shown the benefits of slowed speech in children who stutter. The present study states children who develop slower speech earlier show lower levels of stuttering. Also, parents who were trained to speak more slowly in the study used more accepting and non-directive comments towards their children. This is important for nurturing and aiding in positive speech development.
Some children were less able to follow their mother’s lead on speech pace. More research is needed in the area however within the present study it is believed that this behavior may be the result of the child/mother emotional bond. Children who were unable to follow their mothers lead were more likely to have lower levels of fluency which could be a result of “a lower emotional bond”.
Madelyn King

Guitar, Barry, Marchinkoski, Lisa (2001). Influence of mothers’ slower speech on their children’s speech rate. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol 44(4), pp. 853-861


~ by littlegoose08 on November 1, 2009.

One Response to “Parent Speech Rate and Language Development”

  1. Very interesting study. It would also be interesting to find out if a similar study was done with fathers. Or, it is the time children spend in the womb that help them synchronize with their mothers’ speech.
    Behzad Moaddeli

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