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Title: Numerical development in children with Down syndrome : the role of parent-child interaction
Author: Nye, Joanna
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2003
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This longitudinal study charts the development of counting skills in a group of children with Down syndrome and a group of typically developing children, matched for non-verbal mental age. The role of parent-child interaction in this development is explored. The children with Down syndrome (chronological age range: 3.5-7 years at the start of the study) were seen three times over a 2-year period. The typically developing children (chronological age range: 2 - 4 years at the start) were also seen three times but over 1 Y2 years. Non-verbal mental ages in each group ranged from 2 to 4 years at Phase 1. The difference in interval between test points meant the groups remained matched on non-verbal mental age. The children's count word production, procedural counting performance and understanding of cardinality was assessed at each test point. The Down syndrome group produced significantly shorter count word sequences and had significantly smaller count word vocabularies than the typically developing group at each test point. Despite this disadvantage there were no differences in object counting or cardinal understanding, and both groups made similar progress over the three test points. When provided with parental support during the object counting task, both groups significantly improved their performance, and to a similar degree. Countingspecific parental support and general parent-child interactional style were investigated. No differences were found between the two groups of parents in terms of: how they introduced count task to their children, feedback following sequence and correspondence errors, and feedback following successful counts. The parents of the children with Down syndrome were found to be significantly more directive, however. No relationships were found between parental support or general parent-child interactional style and children's later counting skills. However, there was some evidence that parental support was influenced by the child's earlier counting performance. The overall conclusions drawn were that for children with Down syndrome counting and understanding of cardinality, but not count word sequence production, develop in line with non-verbal mental age. Parental support for counting given to children with Down syndrome does not differ from that given to typically developing children. This support significantly improves counting performance for both groups of children equally, however no evidence was found that parental support effected children's counting development.
Supervisor: Buckley, Susan ; Fluck, Mike Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available