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Busy toy designs reduce the specificity of mothers' references to toy parts during toy play with their toddlers

O'Neill, D.K., Deglint, T.J., McKinnon, A.M., Nyhout, A., Scott, J. (2019) Busy toy designs reduce the specificity of mothers' references to toy parts during toy play with their toddlers. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 43 (1). pp. 35-47. ISSN 1913-200X. (KAR id:81936)

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When a parent is playing with a toy with his or her child, might a toy's "busy" visual design negatively impact the specificity and quality of the parent's talk? In this study, 24 mother-toddler (M = 23.5 months) dyads played with both (a) unmodified visually busy commercial toys and (b) modified visually "simple" versions of these commercial toys. Our focus was on the specificity of mothers' 552 references to the main parts of the toys (i.e., the rings of a stacking ring toy and the blocks of a nesting block toy), which was found to be impacted by the toys' visual design. That is, with simple toys, mothers produced a significantly greater proportion of specific references (e.g., the blue ring) than non-specific references (e.g., this/that one). Indeed, the proportion of specific references was three times greater in play with the simple toys than with the busy toys. Busy toys also reduced the number of references to parts of the toy overall and children's exposure to vocabulary such as colour terms used within specific references. These results underscore that the visual design of toys is an important aspect to consider, particularly in contexts where the goal may be to foster adult-child language and a child's exposure to more information-rich vocabulary terms during toy play with an adult. © 2019, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] ST - L�utilisation de jouets « chargés » sur le plan visuel réduit la spécificité des références effectuées par les mères sur les parties de ces jouets en situation de jeu avec leur enfant [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Can. Lang. Pathol. Audiol. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints] M3 - Article [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Parent-child play, Parent-child talk, Referential specificity, Toddlers, Toy design, Toys, Vocabulary
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Angela Nyhout
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2020 12:15 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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