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PhD ceremony Ms. N.W. Boomstra: Read all about it! Parental beliefs, interaction trajectories, and language use of Antillean families involved in "More languages, more opportunities"

When:Mo 03-03-2014 at 15:00
Where:Martinikerk, Franeker

PhD ceremony: Ms. N.W. Boomstra

Dissertation: Read all about it! Parental beliefs, interaction trajectories, and language use of Antillean families involved in "More languages, more opportunities"

Promotor(s): prof. P.L.C. van Geert

Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

The research setting of this dissertation was the intervention programme ‘More Languages, More Opportunities’, which was executed from 2009 onwards in Leeuwarden and Rotterdam. The target group consisted of Antillean toddlers and their mothers. The aims of the intervention were to enhance the beliefs of the participating Antillean mothers towards their own influence in child language development, to stimulate the positive, warm interaction between mother and child, and to improve the home linguistic environment in both Papiamentu and Dutch.

In short, the parental reading beliefs of the participating Antillean mothers were positive and only partially less positive than a contrast group of highly educated Dutch mothers. The mutuality of the interaction is also generally positive and well-balanced. Although a global trend (in- or decrease) over time cannot be detected in the group data, the individual scores show strong intra- and inter-individual variability. With regard to the language use, in spite of the bilingual nature of the intervention, most families showed a clear preference for the Dutch language.

When the constructs were combined, statistical associations were found between the amount of participation in the intervention, positive affection and the proportion of the conversation of the child. In addition, children from families who took part in more home visits were more lexically diverse. Although several context and research design conditions impeded the interpretation of the outcomes, the study demonstrated the importance of combining group and process data, which can be applied in many (intervention) settings.

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