Maternal Contributions: Supporting Language Development in Young Children with Cochlear Implants

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Objective:The principal goal of this study was to investigate the relationships between maternal contributions (e.g., involvement, self-efficacy, linguistic input) and receptive and expressive (oral and sign) language skills in young children with cochlear implants.Design:Relationships between maternal contributions and children's language skills were investigated by using correlation and regression analyses. Thirty-two mothers (mean age = 36.0 yr) and their children (mean age = 4.8 yr) were videotaped during free play and storybook interactions. Mothers' and children's quantitative (MLU, number of word-types) and mothers' qualitative (facilitative language techniques) linguistic input were analyzed. Mothers completed a measurement tool specifically designed to quantify their sense of involvement and self-efficacy (Scale of Parental Involvement and Self-Efficacy). The Reynell Developmental Language Scales and data from videotaped transcription analyses were used to evaluate children's oral and sign language skills.Results:Maternal involvement and self-efficacy relating to children's speech-language development were positively related to mothers' quantitative and qualitative linguistic input. After controlling for child's age, mothers' MLU and two facilitative language techniques (recast and open-ended question) were positively related to children's language skills.Conclusions:The performance of young implant users may vary in part because of their mothers' sense of involvement and self-efficacy, as well as the ways in which mothers interact with their children. Given this information, it would be fruitful for professionals working with these families to incorporate goals that enhance caregivers' involvement, self-efficacy, and linguistic input to better support language development in young children after cochlear implantation.

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