STEIN alejandra
congresos y reuniones científicas
Mental State Vocabulary in Children?s Argumentative Situations. A Study in Socio-economically Diverse Argentinian Households
evento virtual
Congreso; 2021 SRCD Biennial Meeting; 2021
Institución organizadora:
From an interactive and social perspective, argumentation is conceived as a special type of discourse activity in which two or more parties ?discuss? points of view through common and informal arguments in order to attain interpersonal goals (Stein & Albro, 2001). A few studies have provided evidence that these skills develop early in life, demonstrating that even from 3 years of age, in dispute situations, children from different social groups are capable of sustaining their point of view with some kind of argumentation (Arendt, 2019; Dunn & Munn, 1987; Migdalek & Rosemberg, 2020; Pontecorvo & Arcidiacono, 2010; Zadunaisky & Blum-Kulka, 2010). As has been pointed out (Bartsch & Wellman, 1995; Sabbagh & Callanan, 1998), these situations, involving conflict and confrontation of points of views constitute unique opportunities for the early use of mental state vocabulary (MSV). These studies also suggest that the context of social interaction with adults and children that characterizes disputes might play a role in the use and development of mental state language. Here we delved into the impact of the social, interactive and discursive properties of the disputes on children?s use of this type of vocabulary. We asked how many emotional, cognitive and desire terms children produce in disputes. We also asked whether the quantity of these terms was influenced by the other participants -another children or adults- in the dispute, the production of argumentation either by the target child or by other participant/s, and children?s SES. To answer these questions, we analyzed 476 audio-recorded disputes that occurred during play situations in the homes of 24 4-year-old Argentinian low and middle income children. The disputes, transcribed in CHAT format, were extracted from a corpus of at-home daylong recordings. We annotated each dispute considering the other participant/s involved in the situation with the child -peer/s or adult/s-, and the use of argumentative strategies to sustain the point of view by the target child or by the other participants. We calculated the proportion of MSV used by the four-year-old target child to denote emotions, cognitions and desires. We carried out descriptive analyses and fitted a hurdle regression model for count (Poisson-distributed) data. The model has a truncated count component for positive counts (Poisson) and a hurdle component that models the zero counts (binomial). Results in Table 1 showed that middle SES children have a higher probability of producing MSV. This probability is also increased by the child?s argumentative production. The probability of producing a higher quantity of MSV is increased not only in the middle SES group but also in those situations in which the target child interacts with other children, without adult participation, especially in the low SES group (as shown by a significant interaction between SES and situations involving peer/s. These results provide additional evidence to the studies showing the impact of both SES and peer interactions on the use of MSV.