Date of Award

8-13-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Seyda Ozcaliskan

Abstract

Children show differences in the way they speak and gesture.Parentsalso show variability in the way they produce speech when interacting with their singleton sons vs. daughters—a pattern that we do not yet know extend to boy-boy vs. girl-girl twins. In this study, we ask whether there is evidence of sex (girls vs. boys) or group (singletons vs. twins) differences in parents’ speech and gesture production, and whether these differences also become evident in different twin dyads (girl-girl, boy-boy, girl-boy) difference? Our results largely showed no evidence of a sex or dyad-composition difference in either parent speech or gesture, but evidence of a group difference in gesture, with the parents of singletons providing greater amount, diversity, and complexity of gestures than parents of twins in one-on-one interactions. These results suggest that differences in parent input to singletons vs. twins might become evident initially in gesture.

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