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The Role of Symbolic Gesturing in Family Communication

Hewston, Ruth (2007) The Role of Symbolic Gesturing in Family Communication. In: Inaugural International Conference on Music Communication Science (ICOMCS), 5th - 7th December 2007, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia.

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Abstract

Background to the research or performance/installation
Research examining the impact of symbolic gesturing has predominantly focused on the effects of such
programmes on the cognitive development and language acquisition of the infant, with experience of
using symbolic gesturing indicating faster language acquisition and higher IQ.
Interdisciplinary issues
Extending understanding of the value of symbolic gesturing is of both practical and theoretical
significance to early years practitioners, psychologists, linguists and musicians.
The issue/hypothesis under investigation
The purpose of the present study was to examine the role of symbolic gesturing, focusing particularly on
the development of communication models between
siblings. Among the hypotheses advanced, this
study proposed that symbolic gesturing would enable young children, in this instance siblings, to more
successfully initiate communication and episodes of interaction.
Findings/Description
Participants included 93 infants divided into three groups, one group of 'signing infants' with older
'signing' siblings, a group of 'signing infants' with no siblings, and a control group of infants / siblings
who had not participated in any signing programme
. Analyses indicated that infants in the symbolic
gesturing group participated in joint sibling interaction more frequently. In addition, infants in the same
group initiated sibling communication significantly mo
re often, with evidence of spontaneous gesturing
being used between siblings.
Conclusions/future directions
The pattern of results supports the hypothesis that symbolic gesturing may make a position contribution
to the development of communication within the family unit, in particular in the development of both
siblings language and communication skills.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Keywords: symbolic gesturing, cognitive development, family communication
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ruth Hewston
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 10:39
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2019 09:29
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3661

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