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An eleven-year follow-up of the BabyTalk early language intervention: Reporting outcome for this clinical sample and considering the interrelated influences of language, verbal and non-verbal attachment and cognitive and social understanding in early development.

Opie, Morwenna; (2003) An eleven-year follow-up of the BabyTalk early language intervention: Reporting outcome for this clinical sample and considering the interrelated influences of language, verbal and non-verbal attachment and cognitive and social understanding in early development. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Both early language proficiency and early attachment security are associated with improved social and emotional functioning in later development. Armed with this knowledge, this thesis examines outcome following the Manchester based BabyTalk early language intervention. The intervention, initiated in 1991 by Dr Sally Ward, was aimed at encouraging normal language development in children identified at 7 months as being language delayed. This was to occur by empowering mothers to aid their child's language development. One assumption of the current study was that the changes in interactive style were likely to promote or consolidate attachment security as well as language functioning. The current study involves a follow-up of the BabyTalk experimental and control groups at 11-years. An emphasis is placed on exploring the social and emotional functioning of the BabyTalk infants. This is considered both an important outcome of effective language intervention and one of the best windows onto the early attachment relationship with this age group. Earlier findings with the sample are also revisited. Measures for exploring aspects of the construct of emotional intelligence, including both verbally expressed social understanding and non-verbal interaction, were devised. Their validity is explored with a same-aged cohort from the London Parent Child Project (LPCP). Anticipated differences in verbally expressed emotional understanding were not detected between the control and experimental BabyTalk infants, however there are differences in the children's non-verbal interactive style and their prosocial abilities. Results suggest that attachment theorising should acknowledge verbal and non-verbal aspects of attachment as related but separate, and have implications in terms of understanding the complex inter-relationship between language, attachment and social and cognitive abilities. The results of the 11-year follow up, and the importance of these theoretical considerations, are discussed for their relevance to future intervention and to understanding child development more broadly.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An eleven-year follow-up of the BabyTalk early language intervention: Reporting outcome for this clinical sample and considering the interrelated influences of language, verbal and non-verbal attachment and cognitive and social understanding in early development.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; BabyTalk; Language development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099856
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