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Comparison of Context-based Interaction Patterns of Mothers Who Are Homeless With Their Preschool Children
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PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the influence of context on interaction patterns used by mothers who are homeless with their preschool children during book-reading and game-playing activities. The impact of mothers' previously determined language functioning on their contextual use of facilitating language utterances was also examined.

METHOD: Using a prospective, nonrandomized, comparison group design, mothers read a book and played a game with their preschool children. Facilitating language utterances produced by the mothers in 16 mother–child dyads during each activity were analyzed.

RESULTS: Regardless of their language functioning, no significant contextual differences in percentage use of facilitating language utterances were found across mothers. Overall maternal use of facilitating utterances was less than 50%. Across both contexts, mothers used few different types of facilitating language utterances.

CONCLUSIONS: This exploratory study provides initial evidence of overall consistency of facilitating language utterance use by mothers who are homeless during interactions with their preschool children across contexts, regardless of maternal language functioning. This study provides an initial framework for future research investigating the interactions of families who are homeless and discusses possible language interventions for these at-risk families. (Author)
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