Talking after school: Parents' conversational styles and children's memory for a science lesson.

Research paper by Michelle D MD Leichtman, Kaitlin A KA Camilleri, David B DB Pillemer, Carmela C CC Amato-Wierda, Jennifer E JE Hogan, Melissa D MD Dongo

Indexed on: 27 Dec '16Published on: 27 Dec '16Published in: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology


A scientist taught 40 4- to 6-year-old children an interactive science lesson at school. The same day, children talked about the lesson at home with a parent who was naive to the details of what had transpired at school. Six days later, a researcher interviewed children about objects, activities, and concepts that were part of the lesson. Aspects of parents' conversational style (e.g., open-ended memory questions, descriptive language) predicted how much information children provided in talking with them, which in turn predicted children's memory performance 6days later. The findings suggest that elaborative parent-child conversations at home could boost children's retention of academic information acquired at school even when parents have no specific knowledge of what children have experienced there.