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Pathways of Linguistic Success: a 30-year longitudinal investigation in a High-Risk French-Canadian Sample

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Pathways of Linguistic Success: a 30-year longitudinal investigation in a High-Risk French-Canadian Sample

Campisi, Lisa (2011) Pathways of Linguistic Success: a 30-year longitudinal investigation in a High-Risk French-Canadian Sample. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Few intergenerational studies have investigated the role of language ability in the transmission of risk for cognitive, linguistic, academic and social difficulties from mother to child within at-risk populations. Existing studies have mainly involved short time spans and have exclusively focused on English-speaking samples. The present studies utilized prospective, intergenerational and longitudinal methods, spanning a 30-year period, to examine the role of language in a social and economically disadvantaged French-speaking population. The three questions that were examined were: (1) What are the direct and indirect pathways between mothers’ childhood histories of problematic behaviour and the quality of their child-directed speech? (2) Do the second-generation children’s language skills continue to exert an influence on development in the elementary years? (3) To what extent do specific dimensions of children’s language skills differentially affect academic abilities?
Data from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project were used to answer these questions. Results from these studies revealed direct and indirect pathways operating from maternal histories of childhood maladaptive behaviour to maternal language. The results also revealed that socio-emotional functioning mediated the well-known relationship between socio-economic status and maternal language. Regarding the second-generation children, findings revealed that early elementary-aged children’s language skills, associated with narrative macrostructure predicted academic success in late elementary. Children’s narrative macrostructure predicted overall report card scores and scores in all language-based subjects. Together, findings support an intergenerational transfer of risk from mother to child operating through language. Further the studies highlight the continued risk status of these second-generation children extending up until late adolescence. The studies also underscore the role of language assessment as a possibly cost-effective and easy to use diagnostic tool, which may become part of a comprehensive intervention strategy within at-risk populations.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Campisi, Lisa
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:October 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Serbin, Lisa
ID Code:36234
Deposited By:LISA CAMPISI
Deposited On:21 Jun 2012 08:01
Last Modified:21 Jun 2012 08:01
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