African American Mothers’ Views of Their Infants’ Language Development and Language-Learning Environment The purpose of this investigation was to develop an understanding of how African American mothers living in an urban setting in the South (a) viewed their children’s language development and (b) structured their children’s language-learning environment in general. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six African American mothers of low socioeco-nomic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2000
African American Mothers’ Views of Their Infants’ Language Development and Language-Learning Environment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol Scheffner Hammer
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Amy L. Weiss
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Contact author: Carol Scheffner Hammer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Disorders, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. Email: cjh22@psu.edu
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2000
African American Mothers’ Views of Their Infants’ Language Development and Language-Learning Environment
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2000, Vol. 9, 126-140. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0902.126
History: Received July 30, 1999 , Accepted March 13, 2000
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2000, Vol. 9, 126-140. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0902.126
History: Received July 30, 1999; Accepted March 13, 2000

The purpose of this investigation was to develop an understanding of how African American mothers living in an urban setting in the South (a) viewed their children’s language development and (b) structured their children’s language-learning environment in general. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six African American mothers of low socioeco-nomic status (SES) and six African American mothers of middle SES as part of a larger study. Three themes emerged from the analysis of the data: (a) how children learn to talk, (b) perceptions of children’s language development, and (c) structuring children’s experiences. Results revealed some similarities between the views of mothers of low and middle SES, with individual variations occurring within each of the groups.

Author Note
The authors wish to thank E. Paul Durrenburger, Alfred Healy, Kenneth Moll, and J. Bruce Tomblin for their input regarding the design of the project and analysis of the data. We also thank the faculty of the School of Audiology and Speech Pathology at The University of Memphis for their input about the project and for the use of their facilities. We also thank the mothers who participated in this study for investing their time in the project and for sharing their experiences as mothers of young children. Finally, we wish to thank the reviewers for their helpful suggestions on an earlier version of this manuscript.
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