UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version

Spring 4-2020

Document Type



Beeney, R., Estrada, E., Harrington, S., Magallanes, A., Perez-Senic, A., Schulte, B., Boise, C., Marvin, C., Knoche, L. (April, 2020). Analyses of Parental Interaction Behaviors and Young Children’s Language Skills. Poster presentation for Annual UCARE Research Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2020 by the authors


The Preschool Language Scale-5 (PLS) and samples of spontaneous speech from 20-30-minute play interactions between toddlers and parents, were used to examine children’s emerging language abilities. The speech samples were used to compute children’s rate of words, utterances and different words per minute, and mean length of utterances for a full transcript or simply the three longest utterances. Parents’ comments and directives were noted in five-minutes of toy play with their children. The proportion of parental comments to directives was found to be significantly related to all spontaneous speech measures, but not PLS scores. Spanish-speaking parents were found to have statistically more directives than English-speaking parents. There were no significant differences noted between Spanish- and English-speaking parents’ use of comments, or the proportion of comments to directives.