Maternal interaction and language development in children with and without speech-related anomalies

Gail A. Wasserman, Rhianon Allen, L. Oriana Linares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study explores relationships among maternal behavior, child language, and location of congenital structural anomaly in three groups of 24-month-old children: 21 with speech- related anomalies (SRA), 13 with non-speech-related anomalies (NSRA), and 45 normal controls. In addition to standardized assessment of intelligence and language, children and mothers were observed in a half-hour videotaped play session, later coded for maternal and child interactive behavior. SRA children showed significantly poorer performance than controls on standardized tests. Mothers of SRA children showed significantly more Physical Teaching and Initiating relative to controls. Mothers of both SRA and NSRA children used significantly more Attention Management than did controls. The patterns of poorer child performance and maternal interactive compensations is largely confined to children whose structural disabilities are speech-related. Maternal interactive behavior is not global in its response to child disability; rather, it varies with the particular pattern of child disabilities found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1988


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