Mothers engaged their 2 1/2- and 4-year-old children in conversations about novel and familiar past and future events. Analyses focused on (a) evidence for style differences in mothers' elicitation of future event talk, (b) the temporal frames of references (past, future, general, and hypothetical) mothers used across conversations, and (c) mothers' use of conventional time terms (e.g., last week, on Sunday). Mothers showed little consistency in style of elicitation over past and future conversations. In conversations about future events, mothers produced more references to future time, more hypothetical references, and more conventional time references. In talking about the past, mothers referred to the past more often and used more sequence terms. Mothers also varied their temporal references when talking about novel and familiar events. Results are discussed in terms of how conversations about future events can contribute to the development of children's concepts of time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health