Sensitivity and consistency of maternal writing mediation to twin kindergartners

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This study investigated whether mothers are responsive to their children's literacy level, thus employing different writing mediation styles with each twin according to the child's level, or whether they possess a consistent style employed with both twins. The sample included 28 sets of twin kindergartners (56 children, M age = 68.89 months) and their mothers. Children's literacy underwent individual assessment in their kindergartens. During home visits, mother-child writing interactions with each twin were videotaped. Interactions underwent analysis for task-specific measures (grapho-phonemic mediation, printing mediation, demand for precision, reference to orthography) and for general measures (atmosphere, mutuality, reinforcements, task perception). Findings demonstrated that along with sensitivity to the child's level (mediating on a higher level to the higher achieving twin), mothers of twins possessed a consistent mediation style. Sensitivity to the differences in literacy between the twins was salient in the task-specific mediation measures, whereas the presence of a style appeared in all the mediation measures. The results of this study support the stance that mothers' mediation style deserves to be acknowledged as an influencing factor in children's literacy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


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