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Shared-reading versus oral storytelling: associations with preschoolers' prosocial skills and problem behaviours

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Dyadic shared-reading and oral storytelling practices and their association to American preschoolers' (N = 33) prosocial and problem behaviour was examined. The frequency (how often dyads read) and history (the child's age at first reading) were examined within shared-reading; emotion state talk and evaluative judgments were examined in both shared-reading and oral storytelling. Results revealed mothers used more positive emotion talk during shared-reading, but more negative emotion talk during oral storytelling. Mother-son dyads used more evaluative judgments during oral storytelling compared to shared-reading and compared to mother-daughter pairs in both contexts. Shared-reading practices were associated with prosocial skills, but this result was nonsignificant after including covariates. On the contrary, even after covarying literacy and language skills, there was a significant negative correlation between positive emotion state talk during oral storytelling and problem behaviour. Qualitative examples are included. Theoretical implications for differences between shared-reading versus storytelling and practical implications for the design of narrative interventions are discussed.

Keywords: African American; narrative; preschool; shared-reading; social skills; storytelling

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Rutgers University, Bloustein School, New Brunswick, USA 2: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Tallahassee, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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