“But what about the beginning?”
Young children’s independent narrative structure and how mothers promote chronological coherence during narrative conversations
This mixed model study first implemented a quantitative approach to investigate the structural coherence of the narratives that 3- to 6-year old children construct with and without their mothers. We then employed qualitative analysis to identify and categorize strategies that mothers used to scaffold their children’s developing sequencing skill during narrative conversations. Analysis of 233 co-constructed and 209 independent past-event narratives from 65 mother-child dyads revealed that the children produced narratives with a range of structural coherence both independently and with maternal assistance. Chronological narratives were the most common structure produced with and without assistance, but leapfrog narratives persisted in the dyadic context. Five distinct patterns of maternal strategies that provided chronological structure to their children’s leapfrogs emerged. We discuss the ways in which the maternal strategies identified promote early literacy skills through scaffolding and modeling school-like literacy practices in everyday conversations.
Keywords: high-point analysis, chronological narrative, sequencing, maternal scaffolding, narrative co-construction, early childhood
- Narrative development
- Sociocultural framework
- Maternal narrative style, child narrative structure, and links to literacy
- Research aims
- Selection criteria
- Measurements and procedure
- Child independent narratives
- Mother-child co-constructed narratives
- Deductive coding
- Inductive coding
- Quantitative findings
- Narrative range: Lower and upper limits of narrative structure
- Distribution of narrative structures
- Qualitative findings
- Patterns in child leapfrogs
- Patterns in maternal strategies to scaffold child chronological sequencing
- Chronological reference
- Direct and indirect corrections
- Maternal monologue
- Reconnect to topic
- Quantitative findings
Published online: 24 September 2020
Bailey, A. L., & Moughamian, A. C.
Bailey, A. L., Moughamian, A. C., Kelly, K. R., McCabe, A., & Huang, B. H.
Carmiol, A., Kelly, K. R., Ocular, G., Ríos-Reyes, M., González-Chavez, M., & Plascencia, J.
Cleveland, E. S., & Reese, E.
Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L.
Dickinson, D. K., & McCabe, A.
Fivush, R., Haden, C. A., & Reese, E.
Gardner, M. F.
Glaser, B., & Strauss, A.
Gouldthorp, B., Katsipis, L., & Mueller, C.
Haden, C. A., & Hoffman, P. C.
Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J.
Kelly, K. R.
(2011) The influence of attachment on mother-child narrative co-construction and young children’s narrative abilities (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (963541206).
(2016), May). Mothers and children co-constructing and telling structurally coherent personal narratives. In K. R. Kelly (Chair), Employing narrative techniques to investigate socio-cultural processes and cognitive-linguistic outcomes in young children. Symposium conducted at the Western Psychological Association Convention, Long Beach, CA.
Kelly, K. R., & Bailey, A. L.
Labov, W., & Waletzky, J.
Laible, D. J., & Thompson, R. A.
Leyva, D., Sparks, A., & Reese, E.
McCabe, A., & Peterson, C.
McCabe, A., & Rollins, P.
Melzi, G., Schick, A. R., & Kennedy, J. L.
Miller, P. J., & Sperry, L. L.
Ochs, E. & Capps, L.
Ochs, E., Smith, R., & Taylor, C.
Pesco, D., & Gagné, A.
Peterson, C., Jesso, B., & McCabe, A.
Peterson, C., & McCabe, A.
Reese, E., Haden, C. A., Baker-Ward, L., Bauer, P., Fivush, R., & Ornstein, P. A.
Reese, E., Macfarlane, L., McAnally, H., Robertson, S. J., & Taumoepeau, M.
Reese, E., McAnally, H., & Parry, J.
Rodino, A. M., Gimbert, C., Pérez, C., & McCabe, A.
(1991) Getting your point across: Contrastive sequencing in low-income African-American and Latino children’s personal narratives. Paper presented at the 16th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston.
Silva, M., Strasser, K., & Cain, K.
Snow, C. E.
Sparks, A., Carmiol, A. M., & Ríos Reyes, M.
Sparks, A., & Reese, E.
Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C.
Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A.
Vygotsky, L. S.
Wang, Q. & Fivush, R.
Waters, T. E., Camia, C., Facompré, C. R., & Fivush, R.
Waters, T. E., & Köber, C.
Wesely, P. M.
Wood, D., Bruner, J. S., & Ross, G.