Parent-child interaction during book reading and shared use of an electronic talking book
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This study examined whether and how parent-child interaction differs when reading a print book than when using an electronic talking book together. One hundred twenty-one preschoolers from a medium sized metropolitan area were assigned to control (print book) condition or experimental (electronic talking book) condition in a study with a pre-post design. All participant pairs were instructed to read either of the two provided books at least three times per week for a five-week period. Parents and children in the control condition were given only the two print books, and those in the experimental condition were also given the electronic talking book. During the post-test home visit parents and children were filmed reading one of the provided print books or using the electronic talking book together, however they did so during the study. Results indicated that print book reading and shared use of an electronic talking book may offer distinct contributions to children's lives. Parents and children were more likely to make cognitive comments and behaviors in the print book condition compared to the electronic talking book condition. Parents controlled and guided more often during print book interactions, while children were more likely to make controlling comments and behaviors and to guide the interaction during electronic talking book interactions. During electronic talking book use the pairs explored the text more by spending more time on the interaction and turning the page less frequently than when reading print books. Results raised the possibility that print book reading with parents fosters cognitive dialogue, parental guidance, and predictability for young children, while use of an electronic talking book promotes self-efficacy and exploration due to the interactive capabilities of the product. Shared print book reading and use of an electronic talking book may each uniquely enrich children's literacy experiences.