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Title: Temporal patterns of co-occurrence between children's self-regulatory behaviour and their private and social speech
Author: Verma, Mohini
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 4385
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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The role of language has been identified as crucial in the cognitive development of young children, and has been observed on different time-scales. In particular, the real-time verbal mediation of behaviour has been studied in the context of private speech use and self-regulation, pioneered by Vygotsky and continued by others who followed this line of research. However previous studies have mainly attempted to find correlations between speech and self-regulatory behaviour, but have been unable to capture the dynamic and real-time temporal interactions between these phenomena. Hence, without being able to carry out a contextual analysis of the actual instances of temporal co-occurrence between speech and behaviour, correlational analysis is limited in determining the various kinds of verbal mediation that children spontaneously employ as strategies during problem-solving and while exercising self-regulation. The current study proposes ‘temporal pattern analysis’ as an effective method of extracting significantly recurring patterns of task-relevant speech and goal-directed behaviour, as they repeatedly occur in a stream of naturalistic behaviour which may also contain other temporally random events. These recurring temporal patterns are then contextually analysed, considering the pragmatic content of the speech involved and the goal-directedness of the behaviour towards a specific goal of the episode. Goal-directed episodes of behaviour in eight typically-developing preschool children were video-recorded during their self-initiated activities in the classroom as well as during a problem-solving task held in a laboratory setting. The proposed method of temporal and contextual analysis was used to examine the role of both private as well as social speech in the verbal mediation of self-regulatory behaviour during goal-attainment. A Contextual Model of Verbal Mediation was proposed in the study to account for the diverse functions that both social and private speech perform during verbal mediation of one’s own and others’ behaviour in a goal-directed setting, depending on the specific social and task-related context. A dynamic framework of assessment of performance was developed in the study, to account for both successful attempts at self-regulation as well as failures of self-regulation. The study also attempted to determine any consistent group differences in the styles of verbal mediation employed by the children, across the classroom and the laboratory settings.
Supervisor: Whitebread, David Sponsor: Cambridge Overseas Trust ; Lego Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: self-regulation ; private speech ; verbal mediation of behaviour ; goal-directed behaviour ; temporal pattern analysis