Date of Award

8-13-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Şeyda Özçalışkan

Abstract

Children show sex differences in early vocabulary development—with boys having smaller vocabularies than age-comparable girls—a pattern that becomes evident in both singleton and twin dyads. Twins also use fewer words than their singleton peers. However, we know relatively less about sex differences in early gesturing in singletons and twins, except for a few studies suggesting a female advantage in gesturing among singletons. We examine the patterns of speech and gesture production of 1;6-to 2;0-year-old singletons and twins in structured play interactions with their parents. Boys and girls were comparable in their speech and gesture production, but singletons used greater amount and diversity of speech and gestures than twins. There was, however, no effect of twin dyad type on either speech or gesture production. These results further confirm the close integration between gesture and speech at the early stages of language development in twins.

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