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Raquel Albarracin

Developing Leaders Through Graduate Education

Saint Johns University

Major:

Psychology

Mentor:

Rosanne Flores, Ph.D.

Effects of Parents’ Past Talk on Their Children

Parent child interactions have proven to be influential in children’s language development as well as social development. This study will examine parents directed speech with regards to their use of temporal language and its influence on their preschool age children. Dinner table conversations were recorded from six children and their parents from gifted and average schools. Each transcript was coded for past tenses including past, past irregular, past progressive, past continuous and past perfect. The purpose of this research is to extend the findings of previous research by Davidson & Snow, 1996; Abkarian & Dworkin; 2003, Rowe & Pan, 2004, which examined differences between parents’ directed speech to their kindergarten children as well as their children’s language input. Furthermore, this research will examine differences between parents’ directed speech to their children, differences within and between groups of average low-income families and that of a gifted population as well as the extent that parents’ use of past tenses affects their children’s development of the past tense.