Parent-Child Language Barrier Linked to Bad Behavior A lack of a common language between parents and their children could negatively affect adolescent self-control and aggressive behavior, new research finds. An Iowa State University study highlights how generational language barriers that affect complex, serious conversations involving discussion and negotiation—rather than everyday communication—may have major repercussions on the child. ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   September 01, 2016
Parent-Child Language Barrier Linked to Bad Behavior
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Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   September 01, 2016
Parent-Child Language Barrier Linked to Bad Behavior
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.21092016.np
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.21092016.np
A lack of a common language between parents and their children could negatively affect adolescent self-control and aggressive behavior, new research finds.
“When teens of immigrant parents struggle, we assume either that the parents are doing something wrong, or that our culture is insufficiently supportive of immigrants,” says lead author Thomas Schofield, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State. “Our results show that there’s no need for blame here; there are no villains. Removing this language barrier between immigrants and their children is a solution we can all focus on together.”
The study followed 664 English-speaking fifth-grade students (half girls, half boys) with Spanish-speaking mothers of Mexican descent, measuring their self-control and aggression through seventh grade. Of the student sample, 413 (62 percent) shared a common language with their mother, while 251 (38 percent) did not.
Overall, the children who lacked proficiency in a common language with their mother showed decreased self-control and increased aggression over time, compared with mother-child pairs who were proficient in the same language.
When it’s too hard to communicate about complicated issues with parents who speak another language, teens turn to their friends instead, says Schofield, who also suggests that, while difficult in practice, the best solution would be to support immigrant parents in learning English and children in learning their home language.
1 Comment
September 8, 2016
Theresa Moore
Something to think about
During my career as an ALL I had many parents ask me if it was harmful to speak their native language to their child. Would it delay their language skills or hurt their reading skills. We never discussed the importance of having a well developed communication system with their parent(s).
I have tread journal articles about raising children as bilingual could be a negative effect on children who are experiencing a phonological disorder, articulation delay or a language disorder. This study brings a whole new issue to those questions.
Very interesting case study that effectively brings more questions to mind and shows how a successful communication system can effect adolescents.
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September 2016
Volume 21, Issue 9