Building connections through play: influences on children’s connected talk with peers

Goodacre, Emily, Fink, Elian, Ramchandani, Paul and Gibson, Jenny (2023) Building connections through play: influences on children’s connected talk with peers. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. pp. 1-24. ISSN 0261-510X

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Effective reciprocal communication is a vital component in forming and maintaining social relationships. Peer social play may provide a particularly important context for communicative skill development, as sophisticated negotiation and exchange are required to coordinate play. We focus on connectedness, a property of conversation referring to the topical relation between speakers’ turns, to understand how partners coordinate ideas to build a shared play experience. The present study uses a longitudinal secondary analysis approach to drive forward our understanding of the individual and shared influences that contribute to connectedness during peer social play. Using data from a three-wave, longitudinal study of children’s play and social relationships during the first three years of school in the UK ([URL REDACTED]), we coded connectedness from transcripts of video observations of 148 children playing in pairs at wave three (mean age 6.79 years) and modelled individual differences in theory of mind, emotion comprehension, and language ability from all three waves as potential predictors of connectedness. Our results showed substantial dyadic effects on connectedness, but individual differences in socio-cognitive measures were not significant predictors of connectedness. These findings indicate the importance of dyadic and partner effects in children’s social interactions and implicate the dyad as an essential focus for future research.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2023 10:29
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 15:30

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