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父母的引导在儿童的空间图像表现力上所起到的作用

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ChildDevelopment,May/June2004,Volume75,Number3,Pages869–885

ParentalGuidanceinPreschoolers’UnderstandingofSpatial-Graphic

Representations

LisaE.SzechterandLynnS.Liben

Thisresearchwasdesignedtoobservewhetherparentsguidetheirchildren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicrepresentationsand,ifso,todescribethequalityofthestrategiestheyuse.Parentsreadapicturebooktotheirpreschoolers(3or5years,N531)andchildrencompletedspatial-graphiccomprehensiontasks.Observationaldatarevealedarangeofcreativebehaviorsusedtoaddressthebook’sspatial-graphicchallenges.Theincidenceandqualityofparentalspatial-graphicbehaviorsweresignificantlyrelatedto5-year-oldchildren’sperformanceonspatial-graphicmeasures.Thesefindings,aswellasthepaucityofparentattentiontoaestheticsorgraphicproductiontechniques,arediscussedinrelationtorepresentationaldevelopmentandeducationalpractice.

Manycognitiveandsocialactivitieswouldbediffi-cultorevenimpossibletoperformifonewerelim-itedtothehereandnowofthephysicalworld.Itisforthisreasonthatamajorgoalofdevelopmentalresearchistounderstandtheevolvingnatureofchildren’sunderstandingofrepresentations,thatis,entitiesthatstandforsomethingelse(Sigel,1999).Withinthedevelopmentalliterature,muchoftheresearchonrepresentationaldevelopmenthastra-ditionallyfocusedonlinguisticandnumericalrep-resentationalsystems(e.g.,Bialystok,2000;Miller,2000;Snow,1991),anemphasisconsistentwiththecentralroleofreadingandmathematicsinouredu-cationalsystem.

Inrecentyears,however,therehasbeenincreas-ingattentiontospatial-graphicrepresentations,thatis,torepresentationssuchasdrawings,photographs,andmaps,inwhichinformationaboutareferentisconveyedbythedistributionofmarksonasurface(e.g.,seeIttelson,1996;Tversky,2001).Fromaprac-ticalperspective,researchonwhenandhowchil-drencometounderstandgraphicrepresentationsisimportantbecauseitcaninformthedesignoftext-bookillustrations,computersoftware,instructions

LisaE.SzechterandLynnS.Liben,DepartmentofPsychology,ThePennsylvaniaStateUniversity.LisaE.SzechterisnowatDe-partmentofPsychology,UniversityofCalifornia,SantaCruz.Dataforthisresearchwerecollectedaspartofamaster’sthesisconductedbythefirstauthorunderthesupervisionofthesecondauthor.Theauthorsaregratefultotheparentsandchildrenwhogavegenerouslyoftheirtimetoparticipateinthisresearch.Ofthemanycolleagueswhoaidedwithvariousportionsofdatacoding,entry,andanalysis,weareespeciallyindebtedtoK.H.Grobman,MagdaKlimkiewicz,andAnyaOlsavickyfortheirparticularlysustainedcontributions.

CorrespondenceconcerningthisarticleshouldbeaddressedtoLynnLiben,DepartmentofPsychology,ThePennsylvaniaStateUniversity,UniversityPark,PA16802.Electronicmailmaybesenttoliben@psu.edu.

forassemblingandusingobjects,andgraphicsforcountlessothereducational,occupational,anddailytasks.

Fromatheoreticalperspective,developmentalresearchongraphicrepresentationisimportantbe-causeitraiseschallengesthataredifferentfromthoseraisedbyarbitrarysymbolsystems.Unlikearbitrarysymbolssuchaswords,spatial-graphicrepresentationsaremotivatedbythequalitiesofref-erentstheyrepresent.Forexample,althoughthewordcatbearsnosimilaritytotheanimal,arealisticdrawingofacatdoes:Inboththegraphic-rep-resentationalandreferentialcats,theheadisabovethebody,theearsareattachedtothehead,andthebodypartsareshapedsimilarlyandproportionally.Thesesimilaritiesposeaninterestingcognitivechallengetothedevelopingchild.Sharedqualitiesmayhelpthechildseethroughthesurfacefeaturestoidentifytheidentityofthereferent.Butthesesamequalitiesmaysimultaneouslyreducethelikelihoodthatchildrenwillevennoticethesurfacefeaturesoftherepresentation(e.g.,linewidth,lineoverlap,rel-ativesizesofdepictedparts),thusleadingthemtooverlookthemoredetailedmeaningcarriedbythesefeatures(e.g.,informationabouttherelativeloca-tionsoftwodepictedreferents).

Agrowingbodyofdevelopmentalresearchisconvergingontheconclusionthatspatial-graphicrepresentationsarenotautomaticallyandeffortlesslyunderstoodbychildren,particularlyduringthepre-schoolperiod.Inphotography,forexample,Beilin(1999)reportedpreschoolchildren’sdifficultyindifferentiatingappropriatelybetweenqualitiesofareferentanditsdepiction,aswhenthechildclaimsthataphotographofanicecreamconewillitselfbe

r2004bytheSocietyforResearchinChildDevelopment,Inc.Allrightsreserved.0009-3920/2004/7503-0014

870SzechterandLiben

cold.Similarly,incartography,LibenandDowns(1989)reportedthatpreschoolchildrenconfusequalitiesofspatial-graphicrepresentationsandtheirreferents,aswhenchildrenrejectathinlineasshowingaroad‘‘becauseitisnotfatenoughfortwocarstogoon.’’

Inadditiontoprovidingdemonstrationsofage-linkedimprovementsininterpretingspatial-graphicrepresentations,priorinvestigatorshaveofferedsuggestionsaboutthemechanismsbywhichthisunderstandingmaybefacilitated.Inareviewofchildren’sdevelopingunderstandingofexternalspatialrepresentations,Liben(1999)hypothesizedthatchildren’sunderstandingwouldbefacilitated,first,byexposuretomanydifferentkindsofrep-resentationalmedia,toalternativerepresentationsofthesamereferent,andtoego-deicticrepresentations(suchastrompel’oeilart)thatpointtothemselvesasrepresentations;second,byexperienceincreatingspatial-graphicrepresentationsorlearningaboutspecificgraphictechniques(asuggestionthathasreceivedrecentempiricalsupport;seeCallaghan&Rankin,2002);andfinallyFthemechanismstudiedhereFbyparentalsocialguidance.

Althoughtoourknowledgetherehasbeennopriorworkthatspecificallyandsystematicallyad-dressesthepossibilitythatparentsguidetheirchildren’sexposureto,andunderstandingof,spa-tial-graphicrepresentations,thereissolidempiricalevidencethatparentsguidechildren’sexposuretoandunderstandingofmanyotherdomainsrelevanttocognitivegrowth.Thefirststepinsuchresearchprogramshasbeentoobserveparent–childinter-actionsrelevanttothetargetdomaintodiscoverwhetherparentsdo,infact,offerdomain-relevantbehaviorsthatcouldfacilitaterelatedchildout-comes.Illustrativeofthistraditionisresearchshowingthatparentsprovideinputaboutbiologicalconcepts(e.g.,Jipson&Callanan,2003),causalmech-anisms(e.g.,Callanan&Oakes,1992),andscientificreasoning(e.g.,Crowleyetal.,2001).Oncehavingidentifiedpotentiallyrelevantparentbehaviors,investigatorsarepoisedtotakethesecondstepandexaminewhethertheparentbehaviorspredictchildoutcomesintherelevantdomain,asillustratedbyin-vestigationslinkingparentalinputtochildoutcomesinplanning(e.g.,Gauvain,1999;Gauvain&Huard,1999;Radziszewska&Rogoff,1988).

Theprimarypurposeoftheresearchreportedherewastoaddresstheroleofparentinputinchil-dren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicrepresenta-tionsbysystematicallyobservingwhetherparentsdisplaydomain-relevantbehaviorsand,ifso,tode-scribetheirqualities.Thesecondarypurposeoftheworkwastoprovideinitialdatarelevanttoestab-lishingalinkbetweenparentbehaviorsandchildoutcomes.

Withinrepresentationaldevelopment,mostpriorworkonparent–childinteractionshasfocusedononeoftwotopics.Thefirstisworkconcernedwithparentalinfluencesonchildren’srepresentationalcompetenceingeneral,thatis,children’sabilitytounderstandideasthatareremovedfromthehereandnow.Forexample,Sigelandcolleagues(e.g.,McGillicuddy-DeLisi,Sigel,&Johnson,1979;Sigel,1978;Sigel&McGillicuddy-DeLisi,1984)haveshownthatchildren’srepresentationaldevelopmentisfosteredwhenparentsaskchildrentodistancethemselvescognitivelyfromtheimmediateen-vironment,asinaskingthemtomakeinferencesaboutcauseandeffectratherthansimplytodescribewhatiscurrentlyinview.Thesecondisworkcon-cernedwithparentalinfluencesonchildren’srep-resentationalcompetenceinlanguage,oftenstudiedinthecontextofjointpicturebookreading.In-vestigatorshavereportedthatpicturebookreadingiscommonandfollowsgenerallysimilarscriptsoverthepreschoolyears(Snow&Ninio,1986),buttheyhavealsoreportedimportantvariationsoverageandparents.Forexample,parentsof3-year-oldchildrenlabelpicturesmoreoftenthandoparentsof5-year-oldchildren(Goodsitt,Raitan,&Perlmutter,1988),anddifferentparentalbook-readingstylesareasso-ciatedwithdifferentlanguageandliteracyoutcomesinchildren(Hemphill&Snow,1996;Ninio,1980,1983;Snow&Ninio,1986).

Althoughnotintentionallyaddressedtothestudyofspatial-graphicdevelopment,theextantliteratureonjointpicturebookreadingalsoofferssomein-cidentalobservationssuggestingthatchildrenmaybepuzzledbythegraphicrepresentationstheyen-counterandthatparentsmayindeedguidetheirchildren’sunderstanding.TherichestobservationsarethoserecordedbyCragoandCrago(1983)aspartoftheirlongitudinalcasestudyoftheirpreschooldaughter(Anna)asshelearnedtoread.Inpassing,theymentionedAnna’sconfusionsaboutpictorialconventionsusedtorepresentwaterandmovement,andherearlyconfusionsaboutwhysomepicturesdidnotshowcompleteobjects.Transcriptsalsoprovideevidenceofparentalguidance.Illustrativeisanob-servationrecordedwhenAnnawas2years4months:‘‘Weansweredherquestionsabout...missingfeetbyexplainingthattherewasnoroomforthemonthepage,butthatthey’dreallybe‘downthere’ifthedrawingcouldextendbeyondthepage’’(p.156).Thesedescriptionsareconsistentwiththehy-pothesisthatparentsplayaroleinhelpingtheir

ParentalGuidanceforUnderstandingSpatial-GraphicRepresentations871

preschoolchildrenunderstandspatial-graphicrep-resentations.Thefirstgoaloftheresearchreportedherewastoinvestigatewhetherparentsguidetheirchildren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicrep-resentationswhenfacedwithgraphicallychallen-gingmaterialsand,ifso,tocatalogthekindsoftechniquestheyemploy.Oursecondgoalwastoexplorethepossiblelinkbetweenparentbehaviorsandcognitiveoutcomesinthisspatial-graphicdo-main.Ofinterestwaswhethertherewouldbedif-ferencesamongparentsintheiruseofspatial-graphicscaffoldsand,ifso,whetherthesevariationsinparentbehaviorswouldbesystematicallyrelatedtodifferencesinchildren’sconcurrentspatial-graphiccompetence.

Weaddressedourquestionsbyobservingpar-ent–childinteractionduringpicturebookreading,amethodchosenforitsecologicalvalidityanddem-onstratedutilityforstudyingparentalinput(e.g.,GelmanColey,Rosengren,Hartman,&Pappas,1998).Asinotherresearchofthiskind,thebook-readingsessionswereassumedtoprovideawindowonthewayparentsinteractwiththeirchildrenwhentheyencounterchallengingmaterialindailylifera-therthanaone-sessionexperiencethatinandofitselfwouldberesponsibleforaffectingsomepar-ticularcognitiveoutcome.

Wepilottestedparent–childdyadsreadingavarietyofbookstoenableustoselectonethatwouldofferrichopportunitiesforrelevantparentalscaf-folding.OurpilotworkledustochooseapicturebookentitledZoom(Banyai,1995)thatsuccessfullyengagedchildrenacrossthetargetages(3and5years)andthatofferedseveralotherdesirablefea-tures.First,thebookcontainslittlelinguisticmate-rial:Theonlywordsinthebookarethetitle,theauthor’sname,andpublicationinformation.Thismeantthattherewouldbelittletodivertattentionfromthepicturesandthatitwouldbeappropriateforuseacrossthetargetpreschoolagerange.Second,thegraphicrepresentationsthemselvescanbeun-derstoodatvariouslevels.Theindividualpicturesoneachpagearerelativelysimpletointerpret,andthustheirreferentialidentificationcanbemanagedevenbyveryyoungreaders.Inaddition,however,thebookiscraftedtocontainintriguingrelationsofthegraphicimagesacrosspages,and,itisimportanttonote,thefoundationofthoserelationsisspatial.Inparticular,andassuggestedbythetitleofthebook,thedepictedvantagepointmovesfartherandfartheraway(i.e.,zoomsout)throughoutthebook.Becauseunderstandingthespatialrelationsacrossthesesuccessiveimagesmaybeexpectedtobechalleng-ing,thebookprovidesastimulusforparentstoguidetheirchildren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicrepresentations,thefocusofthepresentstudy.Finally,Zoomwasadesirablechoicebecauseitsgraphicsarebrightandartistic.Thisfeaturepro-videdanopportunityforparentstocommentabouttheaestheticqualityoftheimages,shouldtheybeinclinedtodoso.Aestheticappreciationisanotheraspectofgraphicdevelopmentforwhichparentalguidancemaybeimportant,butithasreceivedlittleattentioninpastresearch.

Althoughnotdirectlyrelevanttoourfocusonspatial-graphicoutcomes,anotherintriguingfeatureofZoomisthatthereferentialmeaningofrep-resentationsisreinterpretedacrosspages.Thatis,asaresultofseeingcontentfromtheincreasinglydis-tantvantagepoints,whatinitiallyappearedtobeonethingturnsouttobesomethingelseentirely(e.g.,whatinitiallyappearedtobeapersonwatchingtele-visionislaterunderstoodtobeastamponanen-velope).Becausethesechangesprovidethepotentialforparentstodiscussappearance–realityandfalsebelief(e.g.,Flavell,1986;Wimmer&Perner,1983),wealsocodedparentalcommentsrelatedtore-interpretationsandadministeredabrieftaskin-tendedtoassesschildren’sunderstandingofthereinterpretationsfoundinZoom.Wedidnotfocusindetailontheseconcepts,however,giventhatearlierresearchhasdemonstratedtherelationbetweenparentalmindtalkandchildren’ssuccessontheory-of-mindtasks(e.g.,seeJenkins,Turrell,Kogushi,Lollis,&Ross,2003;Meinsetal.,2002;Ruffman,Slade,&Crowe,2002).

Insummary,weusedapicturebookreadingparadigmwithagraphicallychallengingbooktoaddresstwomajorgoals.First,weobservedparentstodeterminewhethertheywouldexhibitbehaviorsthatappearedtobedirectedatguidingtheirpre-schoolchildren’sspatial-graphicunderstandingand,ifso,tocatalogthetypesofbehaviorstheyem-ployed.Second,wetestedourexpectationthatpar-entswoulddifferamongthemselveswithrespecttotheiruseofspatial-graphicscaffoldingandthatthesedifferenceswouldbelinkedtoconcurrentdiffer-encesinchildren’sspatial-graphiccompetencies.Ourexpectationthatwewouldfindarelationwasbasedontheassumptionthatbehaviorsduringthebook-readingsessionwouldreflectthedegreetowhichparentsscaffoldtheirchildren’sspatial-repre-sentationalunderstandingindailyliferatherthanonthebeliefthatbehaviorsduringanysinglebook-readingsessionwouldmeasurablyaffectchildren’sgeneralspatial-graphicunderstanding.Wedid,how-ever,thinkitpossiblethatdifferentialbook-readingbehaviorsmighthaveanimmediateeffectonchil-

872SzechterandLiben

dren’sunderstandingoftheparticularbookreadduringtheobservationalsession;thus,tostudythispossibility,wealsotestedchildren’sunderstandingofthatbook.Westudiedtheseissueswithparentsandtheir3-or5-year-oldchildren.Theseagegroupswereincludedtospantheagesatwhichpicturebookreadingiscommonandtocovertheagesatwhichthespatialinterpretationsofgraphicrepresentationshavebeenfoundtobeparticularlychallenging(e.g.,Beilin,1999;Callaghan,1999;Liben,1999).

Method

Participants

Familiesofchildrenwhosebirthshadbeenan-nouncedinthenewspaperapproximately3or5yearsearlierandwhoresidedwithinabout20milesofthetestinglocationprovidedthepotentialpoolofparticipants.Lettersweresenttofamiliesinvitingthemtoparticipateinastudyconcernedwithyoungchildren’sunderstandingofpicturebooks.Follow-upphonecallswereusedtoanswerquestionsandtoscheduleappointments.Slightlymorethanhalfofthoseinvitedagreedtoparticipate,resultinginasamplethatincluded31White,middle-classparents(27mothersand4fathers)togetherwitheithertheir3-year-oldchildren(8boys,8girls;M53.58years,SD5.29)ortheir5-year-oldchildren(5boys,10girls;M55.58years,SD5.18).Althoughthissam-plewasrepresentativeofthepopulationinthisgeographicregion,itshomogeneitypreventsgen-eralizationtothemorediversepopulationoftheUnitedStates.Itshouldalsobenotedthatahomo-geneoussampleofthiskindislikelytoattenuatevariabilityinparents’cognitivescaffoldingbehav-iors,andthustheparticipantsampleoffersacon-servativetestofthehypothesisthatparentbehaviorswouldbelinkedtochildoutcomes.Datafromtwodyads(onemother,onefathereachwitha3-year-oldchild)wereexcludedbecauseofthechildren’sun-willingnesstocompletetheprocedure.OverviewandInitialParentReadingofZoom

Eachparent–childdyadwasseenindividuallyatachildresearchfacilityatalargepublicresearchuniversity.Aftergreetingtheparentandchildandescortingthemtoacomfortablyfurnishedroom,theinterviewerandaresearchassistantestablishedrapportbyplayingasimpleblockgamewiththeparentandchild.Oncethechildwascomfortable,theresearchassistantescortedthechildoutsidetheroomtocontinuetoplaywhiletheinterviewerre-

mainedintheroomwiththeparent.Parentsweretoldthattheywouldlaterreadabooktotheirchil-drenandthattheyshouldbeginbyfamiliarizingthemselveswiththebook.ParentswereencouragedtosharetheirreactionsastheyreadZoom.Afterparentshadfamiliarizedthemselveswiththebook,theywereaskedtousea5-pointscaletoratehowmuchtheylikedthebookandhowmuchtheythoughttheirchildwouldlikeit.Overall,parentsexpressedahighleveloflikingofthebookbothforthemselves(M54.07,SD51.00)andfortheirchil-dren(M53.74,SD51.01),ratingsthatdidnotdiffersignificantly.Parents’ratingsoftheirchildren’slik-ingalsodidnotdifferinrelationtochildren’sage(Ms53.64and3.77,SDs5.92and1.09for3-and5-year-oldchildren,respectively).Thesedataarecon-sistentwithobservationsmadeduringpilottestingthatZoomwasengagingandappropriateforbothagegroups.

Followingtheparent–interviewersession,par-entsjoinedtheirchildrentoreadZoom.Afterthejointbook-readingsession,parentsthenwaitedinanearbyroomwhilechildrenmetwiththeinterviewertocompletefourtasksdescribedlater.Asexplainedearlier,thetaskscentraltoourhypothesesweredesignedtotestchildren’sgeneralcompetenceinunderstandingspatial-graphicrepresentation.Theorderofthesespatial-graphictaskswascounter-balancedacrosschildren.Twoadditionaltasksad-dressedchildren’sunderstandingofZoomitself.Allsessions(parent–interviewer,parent–child,andinterviewer–child)werevideotapedonasplitscreen,withonecamerafocusedonthebookorothermaterialsandthesecondfocusedonthecouchwheretheinterviewer,parent,andchildsatduringactivities.

Parent–ChildBookReading

Parentswereaskedtolookatthebooktogethernaturally,astheywouldreadabooktogetherathome.Theonlyadditionalrequestwastostoptheirjointreadingabouthalfwaythroughthebook(afterp.16).Asheetofpaperwasinsertedinthebookasaremindertostopreading.

Codesforparentbehaviorsduringthejointbook-readingsessionsweredevelopedonthebasisofanapriorianalysisoftheconceptswejudgedtounderlieanunderstandingofZoom,combinedwithbehaviorsthathadbeenidentifiedinpastresearchonjointpicturebookreading.Thecodingcategoriesin-cludedspatial-graphicbehaviors,appearance–real-itybehaviors,commentsaboutaesthetics,verbalexpressionsofpositiveaffectorenjoyment,labeling,

ParentalGuidanceforUnderstandingSpatial-GraphicRepresentations873

questionsasking‘‘what?,’’anddistancingbehaviors(ofthekindreportedbyMcGillicuddy-DeLisietal.,1979;Sigel,1978;Sigel&McGillicuddy-DeLisi,1984).Relevantbehaviorsincludednotonlyverbalexplanationsbutalsogesturessuchaspointingandmiming,whichhavebeenshowntobeusedtocommunicatespatialinformationinbothinformalandinstructionalcontexts(e.g.,Goldin-Meadow,2003;Kita,Danziger,&Stolz,2001;Rauscher,Krauss,&Chen,1996;Roth&Lawless,2002).Thesecate-goriesweretestedontranscriptsofpilotparticipantsbytwoindependentcoderswhothenidentifieddisagreementsandrevisedcategorydescriptionstoincreaseclarity.Descriptionsandexamplesofthecategories,aswellasdataoninterraterreliabilityforthestudyproper,arereportedintheResultssection.Spatial-GraphicMeasures

Scene-orderingtask.Thescene-orderingtaskwasdesignedtomeasurechildren’sunderstandingofgraphicallydepicteddistance.Childrenwereshownsix5in.?7in.colorphotographsofalarge,dec-orativewaterfountaintakenfromsuccessivedis-tances.Theexperimenterarrangedthephotographsonatableinafixedrandomsequenceandaskedchildrentoputthepicturesinorder.Childrenwerescoredashavingpassedifallsixpictureswereor-deredcorrectly,thatis,showingthefountainasseencomingintovieworrecedinginthedistance,andincorrectotherwise.

Photopairstask.Thephotopairstaskwasde-signedtotestchildren’sunderstandingthatrelativesizesofobjectsareaffectedbyviewingdistance.Beforebeginningthistask,childrenwereaskedabouttheirfamiliaritywithcamerasandpicturetaking.Allchildrenrespondedthattheyhadpriorexposuretocamerasandphotographs.Foreachpairof4in.?6in.colorphotographsusedinthetask,thetwophotographsdepictedthesamesubject(e.g.,astatue)shownfromdifferentvantagepoints.Foreachpair,thechildwasasked,‘‘Whatdidthepho-tographerdotomakethesepictureslookdifferent?’’and‘‘Howdidyouknowthat?’’or‘‘Whatinthepicturestoldyouthat?’’Forthefivecriticalitempairs,thechangewaseffectedbythephotographermovingclosertoorfartherfromthesubjectofthephotograph.Toavoidhavingthecorrectresponsesbeidenticalforallquestions,shuffledamongthefivedistancepairswerefourfillerpairsinwhichthetwophotographsdifferedastheresultofchangingviewingangleorazimuthratherthanviewingdis-tance.Theninepairswerepresentedinrandomor-der.Responsestoeachofthedistancepairswere

scoredascorrectifthechildexplainedthatthephotographerhadmovedclosertoorfartherfromthesubjecttotakethepicture.Agreementbetweentwoindependentcoderswas94%.Resultingscoresthuscouldrangefrom0to5;Cronbach’salphaforthismeasurewas.88.BookUnderstandingMeasures

Zoomcompletiontask.Toassesschildren’sgen-erativeunderstandingofthebookusedinthepic-ture-readingsession,childrenwereaskedtoselectpicturesthatwouldcompletetheremainderofthebookthattheyhadnotyetreadwiththeirparents.InthisZoomcompletiontask,theinterviewerbeganbyplacingcopiesofthe12finalpagesofZoominthreerowsoffourpictureseach,arrangedinafixedran-domsequence.TheinterviewerthenopenedZoomtothelastpagethechildhadseenwiththeparent(p.16),pointedtothe12pagesonthetable,andasked,‘‘Whichofthesedoyouthinkwouldcomenextinthebook?’’Ifthechildwascorrect,thein-terviewersaid,‘‘Great!Whichonewouldcomeafterthisone?’’andheldthecorrectpagesothatitwouldremainvisibleforthenexttrial.Whenthechildwasincorrect,shesaid,‘‘Theauthorchosethisonenext,’’whilepickingupthecorrectpageandholdingitforthechildtosee.Shethenasked,‘‘Whichonewouldcomeafterthisone?’’andsoonuntilallofthepageshadbeencollected.Theinterviewerthensaid,‘‘Let’schecktoseethatwediditthewaytheauthordid’’andproceededtoshowthechildtherestofthebook.Performancewasscoredasthetotalnumberofpictureschosencorrectlyon12trials.Becausethenumberofchoicesdecreasedwitheachtrial,allchildrennecessarilychosecorrectlyonthelasttrial,thusallowingscorestorangebetween1and12.Cronbach’salphaforthismeasurewas.64.Becausethenumberofresponsealternativesdecreasedwitheachtrial,taskdifficultyvariedbytrialandtheprobabilityofrandomlyselectingthecorrectpictureincreasedwitheachtrial.Toaccountforthesechanges,wealsocalculatedanerrormeasureinwhichthescorewasthenumberofpagesbetweentheselectedpictureandthecorrectpicture,condi-tionedonthenumberofavailablechoices,yieldingaCronbach’salphaof.96.Allfindingswereidenticalwiththetwomeasures,andthuswereportresultsusingonlythemoreeasilyinterpretednumber-cor-rectmeasure.

Zoomreinterpretationtask.TheZoomreinterpreta-tiontaskwasintendedtomeasurechildren’sun-derstandingofthereinterpretationsdepictedinZoom.Childrenwereshownsetsofpagesthatin-

874SzechterandLiben

volvedappearance–realitychangesandwereaskedquestionsmeanttoassesstheirunderstandingofthechanginginterpretationsofthetargetobject.Foreachpageineachset,theexperimenterpointedtothepicturedtargetobjectandaskedwhetheritwasrealand,ifnot,whatitwas.Unfortunately,despitesomeinitialsuccesswiththemeasureduringpilottesting,inthetranscriptsfromtheresearchproperitbecameclearthatthequestionsweretooambiguousandrequiredtoomanyadditional(sometimesleading)questionstoelicitresponses;thus,thedatafromthismeasurearenotconsideredfurther.

Results

Overview

Asexplainedearlier,theprimarypurposeofourworkwastoobservewhetherparentsattemptedtoguidetheirchildren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicrepresentationswhenfacedwithchallengingimagesand,ifso,tocatalogthestrategiesused.Thus,webeginwithqualitativedescriptionsofthekindsofspatial-graphicbehaviorsparentsdisplayedduringthebook-readingsessions.Althoughdefini-tiveanswerstothefollow-upquestionsaboutcausaleffectsofparentbehaviorsonchildoutcomesmustawaitmoreextensivelongitudinaldatacollection,wealsodesignedourresearchtoprovidesomeinitialdataconcerningtheconcurrentlinkbetweenparentbehaviorsandchild’sspatialcompetence.Tothisend,inthesecondsectionweprovidequantitativedataonparentbehaviors,quantitativedataonchil-dren’sperformanceonthespatialmeasures,andanalysesoftherelationbetweenparentbehaviors

andchildspatialperformance.Whilecollectingdatarelevanttothesetwomajorgoals,wealsoobtaineddatatoexplorethepossibilitythatdifferencesinparents’behaviorsduringthebook-readingsessionwouldberelatedtochildren’sunderstandingofthebookitself.Databearingonthispossibilityaredis-cussedbrieflyinthefinalsection.

QualitativeDescriptionsofParentalGraphicInputTodevelopacorpusofobservationaldatarelevanttothegoalsofthecurrentresearch,webeganbytranscribingallvideotapedparent–childreadingsessions,includingbothverbalinteractionsandcommunicativegestures.Examinationofthesetran-scriptsrevealedthatparentsusedavarietyofstrat-egiestoguidetheirchildren’sunderstandingofthespatial-graphicconceptsdepictedinZoom.Althoughsomestrategieswereidiosyncratic,threegeneraltypesofstrategieswererelativelycommon,andthesearedescribedandillustrated.Toclarifythemeaningoftheparent–childdiscussions,were-produceanillustrativesequenceofthreepagesfromthebookinFigure1andprovideapage-by-pagedescriptionoftheentirebookintheAppendix.

Constantreferent.Oneapproachusedbyparentstoaidtheirchildren’sunderstandingofthespatial-graphicrelationsacrossthebook’spageswastoidentifyearlyonsomereferentialobjectandthentoreferbacktothatreferentrepeatedlyasthereadingofthebookprogressed.Giventhatthefirstidentifi-ableobjectinthebookisarooster(seeFigure1),itwasaparticularlyusefulreferentforthispurpose.Astrikingimplementationofthisstrategywasused

by

Figure1.FirstthreepagesofZoom(Banyai,1995).Copyright,VikingPress.

ParentalGuidanceforUnderstandingSpatial-GraphicRepresentations875

amotherofa5-year-oldgirlwhocreatedwhatmightbecalleda‘‘Where’stherooster?’’gamesomethingakintohowchildrenareaskedtofindthecharacternamedWaldoonsuccessivepagesofWhere’sWaldo?books(Hanford,1997).IntheWaldobooksitisdif-ficulttopickoutWaldobecauseheisembeddedincomplexgraphics;inZoomitisdifficulttofindtheroosterbecauseastheviewingdistancezoomsout,theroosterbecomessmallerandsmalleruntiliteventuallydisappearsentirelyfromthedepiction.Bycontinuingtoaskaboutwheretheroosterisasitbecomessmallerandthennolongervisible,theparentchallengesthechildtothinkaboutthespatialrelationsacrosspages.Oneillustrationofthisstrat-egyisprovidedbythefollowingexcerptsfromatranscriptbetweenamother(parent[P])andher5-year-oldson(child[C]).

P:(onp.5)Canyoufindtheroosteronthispage(Pflipsbacktop.4andthenreturnstop.5)?P:Notquitehuh?Youcanseetheboyandthegirl(Ppointsattheboyandgirl).We’regettingfartherawayfromtheroosterhuh?y

P:(onp.10)Ohh.Wheredidwestart?Doyouremember?Where’stherooster?

C:(Cpointstothemagazinecoveratthefarmbuilding)

P:Downinthebarnyard.Allright.y

P:(onp.12)Sowheredidwestart,doyoure-memberwheretheroosterwas?Inthebarnyard.C:(Cpointstothemagazinecover)

P:Way,waydownintherethough(pointstothecover),wasn’tit?Wecan’tseeyit’stoolittlenow,that’swherewestarted(Pturnstop.13).Asillustratedbytheprecedingexample,whileusingthisstrategy,parentssometimesexplicitlyemployanotherstrategy(discussednext)ofdrawingthechild’sattentiontothediminishingsizeofthede-pictionasdistanceincreases(‘‘Wecan’tseeyit’stoolittlenow’’).

Attentiontodepictedsize.Asimpliedbythepriorexcerpt,anotherstrategyusedbyparentswastodrawattentioninsomewaytothesizeofoneormoreofthedepictionsthemselves.Whenusedalone,thisstrategymaybemoreconfusingthanedifyingbecauseitmayfailtomakeclearthatitisachangeinthedepictedsizeratherthanachangeintheactualsizeofthereferentobject.Forexample,considerthefollowingexchangebetweenamotherandher3-year-olddaughter:

P:(onp.3)Doyouseethatthey’remakingthechickenlooksmaller(Pflipsbacktop.2andthen

backtop.3)?C:Yeah.

P:Yeah.Lookat(Pturnsbacktop.2)lookhowbigthatchickenis(Ppointstothepicture;thenPturnstop.3again).Nowlookatthechicken(Ppointsatthechicken).C:Isitlittle?

P:Yeah,it’sgettingsmallerandsmaller(Ppointstochicken).y

P:(onp.5)It’sgettingsmalleragain,lookathowsmalltheyare(Ppointstotheboyandgirlinthepicture).

Thisexchangebeginswithastatementaboutthesizeofthedepiction(‘‘they’remakingthechickenlooksmaller’’),butitthenevolvesintoacommentthatmightbeinterpretedasastatementaboutachangeinthesizeoftheobjectitself.Thatis,inresponsetothechild’squestion‘‘Isitlittle?’’theparentresponds‘‘Yeah,it’sgettingsmallerandsmaller.’’Insomecases,however,thedepicted-sizestrategywasusedinconjunctionwithstrategiesthateitherphysicallydemonstratedorverballyexplainedtherelationbe-tweenviewingdistanceandapparentsizeofobjects,strategiesthatpresumablyclarifiedthatthesizechangeswereinthedepictionsratherthaninthereferents.Thesestrategiesaredescribedandillus-trated.

Verbal-gesturalexplanationorphysicaldemonstrationofzooming.Thefinalstrategyusedwithconsiderablefrequencywasoneinwhichparentsexplainedordemonstratedtheconceptofzooming.Insomecases,theoccasionfortheexplanationwasthetitleofthebook;inothers,itwasthegraphicdepictionoftheconsequencesofchangingdistance.Insomecases,parentsprovidedadirectphysicaldemonstrationofthechangingvisualexperiencethatcomeswithchangingviewingdistance.

Illustrativeofaparent’scombiningverbalandgesturalexplanationsofzoomingisthefollowingtranscriptofamother’sintroductionofthebooktoher5-year-olddaughter.

P:It’scalledZoom(Playsherhandsontitlepage).It’s,it’suhZoom‘causeyoukindazoominonsomething(movesrighthandintheairquicklyoncefromlefttoright)andzoomoutonotherthings(putsindexfingerandthumbtogether,moveshandquicklythroughairtowardherself).Youknowhowyouzoominonsomethingsandzoomoutonotherthings?Youlookatitrealcloseandthenyouzoomoutandyoucanseeitfromfartheraway(fingersspreadoutasshemoves

876SzechterandLiben

handbacktowardherself,makingmotionofzoomingout).Okay(Pturnstop.1)?

Anothermotherofa5-year-oldgirlexplainedzoominginandzoomingoutbyusinggesturesandtalkingaboutreversingthedirectionofreadingthebook.Thus,afterfinishingtherequestedsectionofthebook(throughp.16),theparentpointedoutthereversedirection:

P:(onp.16):Whenwereaditthisway(Pturnsbacktop.1)it’slikewe’rezoomingout(Pmoveshandoutfrombookinmoving-backmotion),butwhenyouzoomin,youlookatthepicturecloser.Shouldwelookatitthisway(Pturnsbacktop.16tobeginzoominginratherthanout)?

Someparentsprovidedadirect,physicaldem-onstrationthatvisualexperiencechangeswithviewingdistance.Someofthesedemonstrationsweremadeentirelyinthephysicalworld(i.e.,withoutusingtheimagesinthebookatall),andothersmadeuseofthegraphicrepresentationswithinthebook.Ineithercase,thestrategyprovidedthechildwithaphysicaldemonstrationthatthesizeofone’svisualimagechangeswithviewingdistance.Thefirstillustration,takenfromamotherandher3-year-oldson,beganwithaverbalexplanationoftheeffectsofviewingdistance(thestrategydiscussedearlier),immediatelyfollowedbyaphysicaldem-onstration.

P:(onp.1)Here,whatdoyouthinkthatis?C:Azoom!

P:Azoom(laughs)?C:Yeah.

P:Watchthis(Pturnstop.2).C:Achicken!

P:Whatkindofchicken?C:Um,agozzle.

P:That’sarooster,right?C:Oh!

P:Hehasabigcombonhishead(Ptracestherooster’scombwithherfingerandturnsbacktop.1).Nowlook,see?What’sthis(Pturnstop.2)?C:(Studiesthepicture)Acandycane.

P:Well,it’spartofhim,right(Pturnsbacktop.1andthentop.2andtracestherooster’scomb)?It’sthispartofhim(Pturnsbacktop.1).It’sjustthatwe’relookingathimreally,reallyclose.JustlikeifIwentlikethis(Pmovesveryclose,press-ingherfaceagainstchild’s).‘‘There’sSteven!’’Andthen(Pleansfarbackawayfromhim),‘‘Ohlook!There’sallofSteven!’’

Itisthefinalpartofthisexchangethatprovidesthephysicaldemonstrationofthevisualeffectsofmovinginandout,albeitwiththemotherlabelingthevisualexperiencefromherownratherthanfromthechild’sperspective.

Asimilarillustrationcamefromafatherandhis5-year-olddaughter.Again,theparentbeganwithaverbaldescriptionofthechangeinvantagepointandthenprovidedaphysicaldemonstrationoftheeffectsofviewingdistance,inthiscase,usingthebookitselfratherthananotherpersonasthevisualstimulus.P:(onp.2).Yeah,lookatthat.What’sgoingon?Lookatthechicken,allright?Watchthis(Pturnsbackandforthbetweenp.2and1twice).Whathappenedthere?Wetookastepbackwards(Preturnstop.1).We’rerealclose(Pturnstop.2).We’rebackingupalittlebit(Pholdsbookupright,putsitveryclosetochild’sfaceandthenmovesitawayfromherandthenfartherawayinincre-ments,demonstratinghowthepicturesaregettingfartherandfartheraway).

Variationsinthequalityofinteractions.Takento-gether,thetypesofstrategiesandsampletranscriptsshowanintriguingsetofapproachesusedbypar-entsastheytriedtohelptheirchildrenunderstandthespatial-graphicrepresentationsthatappearinZoom.Asmaybeinferredfromtheillustrativetran-scriptsquotedhere,parentsusedsimilarkindsofstrategieswithboththeir3-and5-year-oldchildren.Thus,althoughtheredidnotappeartobestrikingqualitativedifferencesinthespatial-graphicstrate-giesusedbyparentsofyoungerversusolderpre-schoolers,theredidappeartobedramaticvariationwithinthefullgroupofparents(i.e.,irrespectiveoftheageoftheirchildren)inthedegreetowhichtheyattemptedtoaddressthebook’sspatial-graphicchallengeswiththeirchildren.Beforeturningtothequantitativedataontheseparentalvariationsinthenextsection,weprovidetwosampletranscriptstakenfromparentswhodidnotmakeanefforttodirecttheirchildren’sattentiontothespatial-graphicchallengesofZoom.Suchparentstypicallyfocusedoneachpageasifitwereanisolatedimage,simplypointingoutthereferentialmeaningofindividualillustrationsonagivenpage,perhapsexpandingwithfactualinformationrelatedtoadepictedref-erent.Bytreatingeachpageanewratherthandrawingconnectionsacrosspages(e.g.,failingtoflippagesbackandforthandshowrelationsamongthem),therewasfarlessattentiondrawntotheconceptofviewingdistanceortothedepictionofspatialrelations.

ParentalGuidanceforUnderstandingSpatial-GraphicRepresentations877

Bothexamplesaretakenfromtheopeningthreepagesofthebook(again,seeFigure1).Thefirstex-ampleisamotherandher3-year-olddaughter:P:Lookatthatpage.What’sthat?C:Star.

P:Star(Pturnstop.2)?What’sthat?C:Chicken.

P:Chicken(Pturnstop.3).C:‘Notherchicken.

P:Anotherchicken(Pturnstop.4).

Inthisexchangetheparentsimplyusesasequenceofidentificationquestionsthatfocusoncontentpagebypage.

Thesecondisanexcerptfromamotherandher5-year-olddaughter:

C:Itlookslikeit’scalledZoo(Cpointstothetitle).P:Zoom!There’san‘‘m’’onthere.Butyou’reright,that’s‘‘zoo’’onthere(Punderlinesthelet-tersz-o-owithherfinger)andthat’sZoom(Pturnstop.1)!

C:Oh,Iguessthere’salotofanimalsinit,right?P:We’llsee.What’sthat(Ppointstop.1)?C:Idon’tknow.P:Don’tknow?C:Whatisit?

P:(Pturnstop.2andgasps)Whatisit?C:Ahen!

P:Aroosteryousilly(Pstartstoturntop.3).C:(giggles)Ican’ttellthemapart.

P:Oh.SeethecrownFcombFuphere(Ptracestherooster’scombwithherfinger)?Roostershavebigcombs!C:Oh.

P:(Pturnstop.3)Nowwhatdoyousee?C:Aroosteronafarm.

P:Right.Littlekidslookingatit(Pturnspage).Thefocushereisonthetitle(theonlywordinthebook),withthemothercorrectingherchild’sreadingfrom‘‘zoo’’to‘‘zoom.’’Eventhiscorrectionisdi-rectedtospellingratherthanmeaninginsofarastheparentdoesnotuseitasanopportunitytoexplainthespatialconceptofzooming,andinfact,thechildappearstocontinuetointerpretthewordas‘‘zoo’’(‘‘Oh,Iguessthere’salotofanimalsinit,right?’’).Themother’scommentsexpandonfactualinfor-mation(e.g.,‘‘Roostershavebigcombs’’)ratherthanonthechangingvantagepoint.

Thesetwosampletranscriptscontrastmarkedlywiththoseincludedearlierasillustrationsofpar-entalspatial-graphicstrategiesandprovideaflavor

ofthequalitativedifferencesindiscussionsamongdifferentparent–childdyads.Toquantifyparents’relevantbehaviorsandtotestwhetherdifferencesinthesebehaviorsvariedwithchildren’sageorpre-dictedchildren’sperformanceonspatial-graphictasks,thetranscriptswerecodedusingmethodsdescribednext.

QuantitativeDataonParentBook-ReadingBehaviorsTranscriptsfromtheparent–childbookreadingsessionswerecodedusingthecategoriesdescribedintheMethodsection.Table1listsanddefineseachofthecodingcategoriesinthecontextofZoomandprovidesexamplesfromthetranscribeddata.Cod-ingcategorieswerenotmutuallyexclusive,sothataparticularbehaviorcouldbecodedasaninstanceofmorethanonetypeofcategory.Forexample,apar-entwhoturnedpagesbackandforthwhilepointingoutthedecreasingsizeoftheroosterwouldhavebeencodedashavingusedtwospatial-graphicbe-haviors:pointingoutlinksacrosspagesandcom-mentingondepictedsize.Codersthushadtomakejudgmentsnotonlyaboutthequalityofparents’behaviorsbutalsoaboutwhentocountabehaviorasacodableunit.Simplerepetitionswerenotcodedasmultiplebehaviors.Forexample,onlyonecodewouldbeassignedtoaparentwhosaid(onp.4):‘‘Wegobackywegobackywegoback.’’

Table1alsogivesthefrequenciesofbehaviors,summedacrossall16pagesofZoom.Alltranscriptswerecodedbytheoriginalinterviewerandanun-dergraduateresearchassistant,withdisagreementsresolvedbydiscussion.Asexplainedearlier,codingcategorieshadbeenrefinedusingpilotparent–childdyadsandcoders.Interraterreliabilities(takingintoaccountjudgmentsaboutboththequantityandqualityofcodedbehaviors)werecalculatedusinganintraclasscorrelationcoefficientandarereportedbycodingcategoryinTable1.Giventhesmallnumberoffathers,sexofparentwasnotincludedinthein-ferentialstatisticsreported.However,descriptivestatisticsontypesandfrequenciesofbehaviorsre-vealedsimilarpatternsinbothmothersandfathers.Dataforboysandgirlsalsofollowedsimilarpat-terns.

Asmightbeinferredfromtheprecedingsectioninwhichthequalitativefindingsonparentscaffoldingofspatial-graphicunderstandingwerepresented,theincidenceofbehaviorsrelatedtospatial-graphicswashigh.AsshowninTable1,spatial-graphicbehaviorsoccurredfrequently,averaging8.34(SD57.78)timesoverthe16pagesofthebook-readingsession.Asexpected,parentsvarieddramaticallyin

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Table1

ParentBook-ReadingBehaviors

3years

Codingcategory

Spatial-graphic

Conveyinginformationaboutspatialrelationshipsonasinglepageandacrosspages

Appearance-realityCommentingonthe

reinterpretationsinZoomAesthetics

CommentingontheartisticappearanceorproductionofZoomEnjoyment

Conveyingone’senjoymentofZoomDistancing

CognitivelyremovingthechildfromthehereandnowLabeling

NaminganobjectoractionAsking‘‘what?’’

Askingforthenameofanobjectoraction

Example

Reliability

M

(SD)

MinMax

M

5years

(SD)MinMax

‘‘Theroosterisreally

tinynow.’’

.968.21(7.17)0258.47(8.56)027

‘‘Wethoughtitwasareal

farm,butit’sonlyatoy.’’‘‘Arooster.Aprettyfancy,

colorfulone,huh?’’

.956.00(5.08)0156.07(4.62)015

.890.14(0.36)010.27(0.59)02

‘‘Thisisacoolbook.’’.780.43(1.09)040.93(1.39)04

‘‘Amodel!Justliketheone

weusedtoseeattheshoestore.’’‘‘Look!That’sarooster!’’‘‘What’sthat?’’

.707.71(3.38)2159.13(4.56)020

.80.92

16.7111.86

(13.62)1(8.44)3

3833

9.8013.40

(8.15)(9.47)

12

2930

Note.MinandMaxare,respectively,minimumandmaximumnumberofbehaviorsscoredinthenamedcategory.

theincidenceofspatial-graphicbehaviors,despitebeingdrawnfromarelativelyhomogeneouspopu-lation.Atthehighendwasoneparentwhowascodedasdisplaying27spatial-graphicbehaviorswhilereadingthebook,withthetop20%ofparentsaveragingmorethan16comments.Atthelowendweretheroughly20%ofparentswhoneverex-hibitedspatial-graphicbehavior.Thisvariabilityprovidedthenecessaryprerequisiteconditionforexaminingtheconcurrentrelationbetweenparentspatial-graphicbehaviorsandchildren’sperfor-manceonspatialmeasures.Beforeturningtothatrelation,however,wemakeobservationsabouttheothercategoriesofbehaviorsincludedinTable1.ThedatainTable1alsoshowthatparentscom-monlycommentedonthereinterpretationsinZoom(i.e.,appearance–realitydistinctions).Theyalsousedgeneralstrategiesthathavebeenobservedinpastresearchonpicturebookreading.Parentswereparticularlylikelytolabelpicturesdirectlyortoelicitlabelsfromtheirchildrenby‘‘asking‘what?’’’Con-sistentwithearlierwork,parentsof3-year-oldchil-

drenusedthelabelingstrategysignificantlymoreoftenthandidparentsof5-year-oldchildren,t(27)51.67,p5.05.Althoughparentsofolderchil-drenshowedaslightlyhigherincidenceintheuseofthecognitivelymoredemandingasking‘‘what?’’(seeTable1),thisdifferencewasnotsignificant.AlsonoteworthyfromthedatashowninTable1wasthealmostcompleteabsenceofcommentsabouttheaestheticattractivenessorproductionofthepicturesinthebook.

Children’sPerformanceonSpatialMeasuresandItsRelationtoParentBehaviors

Asexplainedearlier,twotaskswereusedtomeasurechildren’sspatial-graphiccompetence.Onthescene-orderingtask,7%ofthe3-year-oldchil-drenand73%ofthe5-year-oldchildrenwerecate-gorizedashavingpassed,proportionsthatdifferedsignificantly,w2(1,N526)516.06,po.01.Onthephotopairstask,meannumberscorrect(standarddeviations)forchildrenages3and5yearswere,

ParentalGuidanceforUnderstandingSpatial-GraphicRepresentations879

respectively,.25(.45)and3.86(1.23).Again,perfor-mancewassignificantlybetterintheolderthanintheyoungerchildren,t(24)59.59,po.01.

Ofparticularinterestwastherelationbetweentheincidenceofparentspatial-graphicbehaviorsandchildren’sperformanceonthespatialtasks.Because3-year-oldchildrenperformedsopoorlyonallcomprehensionmeasures,thecorrelationalanalyseswerelimitedtotheparent–childdyadswith5-year-oldchildren.

Mostimportant,aspredicted,analysesshowedthattheparents’spatial-graphicbehaviorsweresignificantly(hereandthroughout,p5.05orbetter)correlatedwithchildren’sperformanceonboththespatialmeasures,thatis,thescene-orderingtask,r(13)5.45,andthephotopairstask,r(12)5.47.Thus,althoughdatawerelimitedinsofarastheywerecross-sectional,representedonlyasingleage,andwerebasedonasmallsample,theyarecon-sistentwiththehypothesisthatparentalguidanceforspatial-graphicchallengesisafactorinfacilitat-ingchildren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicrep-resentations.

Itispossiblethattheobservedcorrelationbe-tweenthefrequencyofparentspatial-graphicbehav-iorsandthechildoutcomemeasuresmayreflecthowwellparentsstructureenvironmentsthatfostergoodcognitiveoutcomesingeneral.Toevaluatethisalternativehypothesis,wetestedwhetherhigherperformanceonthechildspatialmeasureswouldbeaswell(orbetter)predictedbyparents’useofdis-tancingbehaviors,thatis,behaviorsthatencouragethechildtothinkaboutobjects,events,orrelationsthatextendbeyondtheimmediatestimulusen-vironment.Asexplainedearlier,distancingbehav-iorshavebeenshowninpastworktopredicttohigherlevelsofrepresentationalcompetenceingeneralandarethusanindexofwhatmightbecalledgoodcognitiveparenting.(Notethatdistanceherereferstocognitivedistanceinthesensede-scribedbySigel,1978,ratherthantoenvironmentalorspatialdistance.)Thepresentdatarevealednorelationbetweenthenumberofparentaldistancingbehaviorsandchildren’sperformanceoneitherthephotopairstaskoronthescene-orderingtask.

Itisalsopossiblethattheobservedrelationbe-tweentheincidenceofparentspatial-graphicbehav-iorsandchildren’sperformanceonthespatialmeasuresisdrivennotbytheparentsbutbythechildren.Thatis,childrenmayhavequalitiesorbe-haviorsthatelicitdifferentamountsofspatial-graphictalkfromtheirparents.Toprovidedatarelevanttothispossibility,wereexaminedalltranscriptstocodeforinstancesinwhichchildren’sbehaviorsweredi-

rectedtowardspatial-graphicconcepts.Theresultingdatashowedlittlesupportforthispossibilityinsofarastheamountofspatial-graphictalkbychildrenwasnotsignificantlyrelatedtotheamountofspatial-graphictalkbytheirparents.Ofcourse,itispossiblethatotheraspectsofchildren’sbehavior(e.g.,quiz-zicalfacialexpressions,attentivenesstothebook,evidenceofspatialabilitiesorinterestsprovidedfromothersettings)mayhaveeliciteddifferentlevelsofparentalspatial-graphicbehaviorsduringthelabora-torybook-readingsession,andthusthepossibilityofchild-drivenvariablescannotberuledout.

Finally,inadditiontoexaminingchildren’ssuc-cessonthespatial-graphicmeasuresinrelationtothequantityofparentalbehaviors,wealsoexploredwhetherchildren’ssuccessonthetwospatial-graph-icmeasureswouldberelatedtothetypesofparentalspatial-graphicstrategiesdescribedearlier.Totestthispossibility,parentsweredichotomizedintothosewhodidversusthosewhodidnotuseeachofthethreespatial-graphicstrategiesdiscussedearlier;then,children’sscoresoneachofthetwospatialmeasureswereexaminedinrelationtoparentcate-gory.Significantrelationswerefoundbetweenchil-dren’sscoresonthespatialtasksandtheparentalstrategiesof(a)identifyingaconstantreferent:forphotopairs,r(12)5.66,forsceneordering,r(13)5.53,and(b)explainingordemonstratingzooming:forphotopairs,r(12)5.47,forsceneor-dering,r(13)5.43.TherelationtothethirdparentalstrategyFdiscussionofdepictedsizeFwasinthesamedirection,buttherelationwasnotsignificanteitherforphotopairs,r(12)5.34,orforsceneor-dering,r(13)5.36.

Children’sBookUnderstandingandItsRelationtoParentBehaviors

TheZoomcompletiontaskwasdesignedtoassesschildren’sgenerativeunderstandingofthebookusedinthereadingsession,withperformancemea-suredbythenumberofZoompageschildrenselectedcorrectly(maximumscore512).Forchildrenage3and5years,meannumberscorrect(standardde-viations)were,respectively,4.93(2.09)and7.73(2.02).Olderchildrenperformedsignificantlybetterthandidyoungerchildren,t(27)53.68,po.001.Toevaluatethepossibilitythatdifferentialparentbehaviorsduringthebook-readingsessionmighthavebeenrelatedtochildren’sunderstandingofZoomitself,wefollowedanalyticprocedureslikethoseusedtoexaminetherelationbetweenparentbehaviorsandchildren’sperformanceonthespatial-graphicmeasures.Theonlyevenmarginalpredictor

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ofchildren’sperformanceontheZoomcompletiontaskwasthefrequencyofparent’senjoymentbehav-iors.Thatis,greaternumbersofparentalstatementssuchas‘‘Thisisacoolbook!’’tendedtobelinkedtohigherscoresontheZoomcompletiontask,r(13)5.41,p5.069.Particularlynoteworthyistheabsenceofanyrelationbetweenthebookmeasureand(a)thequantityofparentalspatial-graphicorappearance–realitybehaviorsand(b)anyofthein-dividualspatial-graphicstrategiesidentifiedearlier.(CorrelationsbetweenscoresontheZoomcomple-tiontaskandpresenceorabsenceofconstantre-ferent,explanationofzooming,anddepictedsizestrategieswere,respectively,.19,–.13,and.04.)Theabsenceofcorrelationsisparticularlytellinggiventhatthemeasurehadadequatereliabilityandre-sponseranges.

Discussion

Childrenandadultsarefacedwithmanyformsofrepresentationineveryday,educational,andoccu-pationalcontexts.WhentheserepresentationsarearbitraryFasinverballanguagesandWesternnu-mericalnotationsystemsFitisreadilyapparentthatsomeformofsocialtransmissionisneededtohelpusersacquireandmasterthem.Notsurprising,muchformaleducationisthusfocusedondevelop-ingtheseskills,andmuchscholarlyworkisdevotedtounderstandingtheiremergencebothinthecontextofformalschoolingandinthecontextofdailyparent–childinteractions.When,however,represen-tationsareinsomewaymotivatedbytheirreferentsFasisthecaseforthekindsofpictorialspatial-graphicrepresentationsstudiedhereFitmightbeassumedthatnosocialguidanceforlearn-ingisneeded.Indeed,childrenareabletoidentifythereferentsofrepresentationaldrawingsandpho-tographsearlyandeffortlessly.Eveninfants,forex-ample,showthattheycategorizepicturesofobjectsinthesameclassastheobjectsthemselves(e.g.,DeLoache,Strauss,&Maynard,1979).However,ashighlightedbythewell-knownadage‘‘apictureisworthathousandwords,’’thereisfarmorein-formationinagivenspatial-graphicimageorinasequenceofsuchimagesthansimplytheidentityofthereferent.Themajorpurposeofthecurrentre-searchwastoobservewhetherparentswouldguidetheirchildren’sunderstandingofspatial-graphicre-presentationsand,ifso,toidentifythetypesofstrategiesused.

Thequalitativedatafromthecurrentresearchofferstrikingevidencethatatleastsomeparentsappeartoappreciatethattheirchildrenmayneedguidanceininterpretingspatial-graphicimages,andtheyusearangeofstrategiesinhelpingtheirchil-drendoso.Manyparents,forexample,commentedonspatialrelationsacrosspages,oftenflippingpagestoshowthelinksamongthem.Someparentsdem-onstratedremarkablecreativity.Illustrativeistheparentdescribedearlierwho,onsuccessivepages,askedherdaughterto‘‘findtherooster’’evenastheroosterbecamesmallerandsmallerandthendis-appearedfromview.Manyparentsexplainedthegeneralnotionofzooming,somerightfromthebe-ginning(i.e.,immediatelyafterreadingthebook’stitlealoud)andsomeastheyencounteredgraphicconsequencesoftheincreasingdistance(e.g.,toex-plainwhysomeobjectsappearedsmaller).Verbalexplanationswereoftencombinedwithgesturesandevenphysicaldemonstrationsoftheperceptualef-fectsofzooming,asinthecaseofthemotherwholoomedinandthenbackedawayfromherson’sfacetoshowtheperceptualconsequencesofachangeinviewingdistance.

Parents’spatial-graphicbehaviorsweregenerallysimilarirrespectiveofwhethertheirchildwas3or5yearsold.Thissimilarityisnotsurprisinginsofaras,first,spatialconceptsandtheirrepresentationsarechallengingacrosstheentirepreschoolperiod(e.g.,seeLiben&Yekel,1996),andsecond,thebookwasselectedpreciselybecausepilotworkhadshownthatitwouldbechallengingforchildrenofbothages.Furthermore,theimpressionfrompilotworkthatthebookwouldengagebothagegroupswasborneoutbyparents’ratingsofhowmuchtheyexpectedtheirchildrentoenjoythebook:Anticipatedenjoymentwashighandalmostidenticalforbothgroups.Afewparentsdidspontaneouslycommentaboutthebook’sdifficulty,butagain,thesecommentswereofferedbyparentsofchildrenofbothages.

Thegeneralpatternofsimilarityoffindingsfordyadswith3-and5-year-oldchildrenparallelsfindingsfrompriorresearchonjointpicturebookreadinginwhichthegeneralscriptforreadingpic-turebookshasbeenfoundtobehighlysimilaracrossthepreschoolyears(Snow&Ninio,1986).Ofallparentalbehaviorscodedinthecurrentwork,onlyoneFlabelingFwassignificantlydifferentacrossages.Thefindingthattherewassignificantlymorelabelinginparentswithyoungerchildrenreplicatesearlierwork(Goodsittetal.,1988).Presumably,thisdifferencereflectsparents’implicitjudgmentthatlabelingiscognitivelyalow-demandmeansofen-gagingchildrenandthusisareadingstrategymoreappropriateforyoungerchildren.Inparallel,therewasa(notsignificantly)greateruseofthecogni-tivelymoredemanding‘‘asking‘what?’’’behavior

ParentalGuidanceforUnderstandingSpatial-GraphicRepresentations881

witholderchildren.Thus,thefindingthatparentsdidnotdifferintheiruseofspatial-graphicbehav-iorsislikelytoreflectparents’beliefthatspatial-graphicscaffoldingwasrelevantforchildrenofbothagesratherthanparents’generalinattentivenesstothecognitiveneedsofchildrenofdifferentages.AsnotedintheIntroduction,thecurrentob-servationalworkonparentalguidanceforspatial-graphicrepresentationsispartofthegrowingtraditionofresearchthataddressesthewaysparentsprovidecognitiveinputtotheirchildrenthroughsocialinteractions.Asinotherinstantiationsofthisgeneralparadigmcitedearlier,thefirststepinsuchresearchistodeterminewhetherparentsprovidedomain-relevantguidanceand,ifso,toofferatax-onomyoftheirbehaviors.Oncethisfoundationhasbeenbuilt,itispossibletoturntoresearchthatevaluateswhethertheseparentalbehaviorshaveameasurableeffectonchildoutcomes.Ideally,suchresearchshoulduselongitudinaldesigns,includeavarietyofstimulusmaterials,studylargeanddi-versesamples,andincludeexperimentalaswellascorrelationaltestsofthehypothesizedcausalrela-tions.Ultimately,itisalsoimportanttoevaluatenotonlywhetherparentalbehaviorscouldhaveafacil-itativeeffectonchildoutcomes(e.g.,bycomparingcognitiveoutcomesinchildrenwhodidordidnotreceiverandomlyassignedstrategyinterventions)butalsowhetherthereisevidencethattheproposedmechanismactuallyoperatesinthenaturaldevel-opmentalecology(e.g.,byexamininglanguagecorporaforevidenceofparentalguidanceofgraph-ic-spatialconceptsindailylife).

Althoughwewerenotabletosatisfythesedesid-eratainthecurrentresearch,wewereabletoprovideamoremodesttestoftheconcurrentrelationbe-tweenparentalbehaviorsandchildren’sspatial-graphicmastery.Todoso,wequantifiedkeyparentbehaviorsandrelatedthefrequencyandappearanceofthesebehaviorstoperformanceonthetwospatial-graphicmeasuresin5-year-oldchildren(theageatwhichthespatialtestsprovedtobeappropriate).Analysesshowedthathigherincidenceofparentalspatial-graphicbehaviors,aswellastheuseoftheconstantreferentandexplanationofzoomingstrat-egies,werelinkedtochildren’shigherperformanceonthespatial-graphictasks.ThefindingthattheuseofthethirdstrategyFdepictedsizeFshowedonlyatrendisconsistentwiththeearliercommentthatthisstrategymightsometimesreflectparents’insensitivitytotheirchildren’sunderstandingofgraphicrepresentations.Thatis,parentalcommentsaboutsizemayactuallyonlyconfusechildreniftheydonotmakeclearthatitisthedepictionoftheref-erent(e.g.,therooster),ratherthanthereferentitself,thathasbecomesmaller.

Thehypothesisthatwhatmattersisparentalat-tentiontospatial-graphicrepresentationinpartic-ular,ratherthantosymbolicrepresentationingen-eral,alsoreceivedsupportinthedata.Betterspatialperformanceinchildrenwasassociatedwithpar-ents’greateruseofspatial-graphicbehaviorsbutnotwiththeirgreateruseofthedistancingbehaviorsthathavebeenlinkedinearlierworktosymbolicdevelopment,broadlydefined(e.g.,Sigel,1978).Ofcourse,becausethedataarecorrelationalitisalwayspossiblethatsomeotherunexaminedfactoraccountsfortheobservedassociation.Forexample,therecouldbesomesharedgeneticspatialabilitythatledparentstonoticeandhencediscussdepictedspatialrelationsand,simultaneously,ledtheirchil-drentosucceedonspatial-graphictasks(justassomesharedlinguisticabilitymightaccountforob-servedcorrelationsbetweenparentalbook-readingbehaviorandlanguagedevelopmentinearlierre-search).Convergingdataarethereforeneededtodemonstratetheeffectivenessofparentbehaviors.Again,thebook-readingandlanguagedevelopmentliteratureprovidesausefulmodel.Whitehurstetal.(1988),forexample,demonstratedthattherewerebeneficialeffectsonchildren’svocabularyacquisi-tionwhenparentsweretaughttouseaparticularbook-readingstylewiththeirchildren.Inasimilarvein,futureresearchmightevaluatetheimpactofhavingparentsusespecifiedspatial-graphicbehav-iorswiththeirchildren.Inshort,asinanycross-sectional,correlationalinvestigation,thecurrentdatarelatingparentbehaviorsandchildqualitiescannotofferdefinitiveevidenceaboutcausality.Theyare,however,encouraginginsofarastheyareconsistentwiththehypothesisthatparentalguidanceplaysacausalroleinfacilitatingchildren’sspatial-graphicunderstanding.

Theassociationsfoundbetweenparentbehaviorsandchildren’sperformanceonmeasuresofspatial-graphicunderstandingwerenotparalleledbysimi-larassociationswithchildren’sperformanceonthemeasureofbookunderstanding.Thispatternoffindingsisconsistentwiththeargumentmadeini-tiallythatthespatial-graphicbehaviorsobservedduringthejointbook-readingsessionwouldbeim-portantasanindexofongoing,dailyparentguid-anceratherthanasanassessmentofbehaviorslikelytohaveanimmediateimpactonchildren’sunder-standingofthetargetbookinparticular.Afterre-peatedreadings,parentalspatial-graphicguidancemaybeexpectedtoaffectchildren’sperformanceonZoommeasuresaswell,giventhatspatialunder-

882SzechterandLiben

standingisrelevanttounderstandingthisbook.Afterasinglereading,however,otherfactors,suchasthechild’sownengagementwiththebook,areprobablymorelikelytoaffectthechild’sperfor-manceonthegenerativeZoomtask.Consistentwiththispossibilitywasthefindingthattheonlyfactorthatevenborderedonbeingsignificantlyrelatedtochildren’sscoreontheZoomcompletiontask(p5.069)wasparents’expressedenthusiasmforthebook,somethingthatwouldbelikelytohaveinflu-encedthechildren’sownengagementwiththebookandthustheirefforttofigureoutits‘‘ending.’’

Insummary,thedescriptivedatademonstratethatparentsusecreativestrategiesintheirattemptstohelptheirchildrenunderstandaspatiallychalleng-ingbook.Likewise,theyrevealfascinatingdiffer-encesinthewayparentsFeventhoserepresentingarelativelyhomogeneouspopulationFvarywithre-specttotheirpicture-book-readingbehaviors.Thepatternsofrelationsfoundbetweenparents’behav-iorsandchildren’sperformanceonthespatial-graphiccomprehensionmeasuresareconsistentwith(althoughcannotprove)thehypothesisthatparentsplayanimportantroleinhelpingtheirchildrenun-derstandthedepictionofspatialrelationsingraphicrepresentations.

Thecurrentdataareimportantnotonlyforwhattheyrevealaboutwhatparentsdobutalsoforwhattheyrevealaboutwhatparentsdonotdo.Itisin-terestingthatparentswerealmostuniversallysilentabouttheaestheticnatureofthepicturesandaboutthecreativeandtechnicalprocessesinvolvedinproducingthepicturebook.Thisfindingisofpartic-ularinteresttothosewhoargueforthevalueofarteducation(e.g.,Gardner&Perkins,1989;Parsons,1987)aswellastothosewhoarguethatlearningaboutgraphictechniquesisinstrumentalforfacil-itatingchildren’sgeneralunderstandingofspatial-graphicrepresentations(Callaghan,1999;Callaghan&Rankin,2002;Liben,1999,2003).Ourfindingssuggestthatitmaybeimportanttodesignpubliceducationprogramstohelpparentsfostertheirchildren’sgraphicliteracymuchastheyhavebeendesignedtohelpparentsfostertheirchildren’sver-balliteracy(e.g.,U.S.DepartmentofEducation,2002).

Atthebroadestlevel,ourworkjoinsthegrowingliteraturethatexaminestheroleofeverydaysocialinteractionsforchildren’scognitivedevelopment(e.g.,Callanan&Oakes,1992;Gauvain,2001;Jipson&Callanan,2003;Rogoff,1990).Ourdataaddtopastevidencethatjointparent–childpicturebookread-ingprovidesacontextinwhichparentshavetheopportunitytoguidetheirchildren’sprocessingof

newmaterials.Morespecifically,ourworkprovidestoolsandcross-sectionaldatathatcanfacilitatefu-tureresearchdesignedtotestthehypothesisofferedearlier(Liben,1999)thatparentalguidanceplaysanimportantroleindevelopingchildren’sunder-standingofspatial-graphicrepresentations.Inaddi-tiontorevealingmoreabouthowparentalguidancemayoperateinthenaturalecology,futureresearchmaybepoisedtoappropriatethesestrategiesforeducationalinterventionsthatmayfacilitatechil-dren’suseoftherichimagesthatincreasinglyper-vadetheirworlds.

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Appendix

Page-by-PageDescriptionofZoom(Banyai,1995)

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9DescriptionRedtriangularshapesconnectedtoalarge,redbase.Arooster.Theimageonpage1isretrospectivelyinterpretedasaclose-upoftherooster’scrown.Twochildren,seenfrombehind,arelookingattheroosterthroughanopenwindow.Thetwochildrenarestandingonabenchtolookoutthewindow.Oneseesthemthroughanopendoor.Afarmscene.Thechildrenarestandinginsideahouse.Outsidetherearepigs,hens,geese,andahorse.Theroosterisnolongervisible.Moreofthefarmsceneisvisible.Thechildrenarestandinginsideahousethatissurroundedbyseveralotherbuildings.Evenmoreofthefarmsceneisvisible.Oneofthebuildingsisenclosedinahumanhand.Whatoriginallyappearedtobearealfarmisnowreinterpretedasamodelfarmset.Thehandsseenonthepriorpagebelongtoagirl,whosefaceandarmsarenowvisible.Thegirlisleaningonatableonwhichsheisarrangingthemodelfarm.Intheupperleft-handcorner

ofthepageisthewordtoysprintedincapitalletters.Intheupperrighthandcornerofthepageare

threehumanfingers.Whatoriginallyappearedtobearealgirl,isnowreinterpretedasapictureof

agirl.

Thegirlappearsonthecoverofamagazine,whichisbeingheldbyaboyasleeponachair.

Theboyissittingonalawnchair.Behindhimisarailingagainstabluebackground.

Theboyissittingbyaswimmingpoolwhereseveralpeopleareswimming.

Thepoolbywhichtheboyissittingisonaship.Aportionoftheupperdeckisvisible.

Moreoftheshipisvisible.Intheupperleft-handcornerofthepagearethelettersng.Acrossthetopofthepageoneseessomethinggrayabovethebluesky.

Thecruiseshipnowappearsbehindataxicab.Abovetheshiparedarkrectangularwindows,andbeneathitarethewords‘‘CaliforniaCruiseLine.’’Whatoriginallyappearedtobearealshipis

nowreinterpretedasapictureofaship.

Theentireshipisnowvisible.Itappearsonthesideofabusinthemiddleofacrowdedcitystreet.Thelettersngfromapreviouspagenowread‘‘Introducing.’’

Moreofthecitystreetisvisible.Acrossthetopandbottomofthepageissomethingblack.Inthelowerlefthandcornerofthepageisasilverandorangetriangularshape.

Thecitystreetappearsonatelevisionscreen.Whatoriginallyappearedtobearealstreetisnowreinterpretedasapictureofastreet.Thetriangularshapeofthepreviouspageisacowboyboot

wornbyamanwatchingthetelevisionscreen.Heisseenfrombehind.

Theentiremanisvisible.Heappearstobewatchingtelevisionoutsideinthedesert.

Moreofthedesertsceneisvisible.ThewordArizonaappearsnearthebottomofthepage.Aroundtheperipheryofthedesertscenearewhiteperforations.

Thedesertsceneappearsontheupperrightedgeofanenvelope.Whatoriginallyappearedtobearealmanwatchingtelevisioninthedesertisnowreinterpretedasapictureonapostagestamp.101112131415161718192021

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31Theletterisbeingheldbyamailcarrierwhoisseenfrombehind.Heisstandinginfrontofatribalchiefonabeach.Moreofthebeachsceneisvisible.Themailcarrierisgettingintohisboatandmembersofthetribearewaving.Thebeachisseenfromaboveasarepatchesofgrassandpalmtrees.Partofapersonwearingheadphonesisvisible.Thepersonisinsidethecockpitofanaircraft.Heisseenfrombehind.Hisentireairplaneisvisible.Itisflyingovertheareawherethetribesmenlive.Avolcanoisvisible.Theairplaneisflyinghigherintotheclouds.Belowitareseveralislands.Theairplaneisnowverysmall.Theoceanandcloudsareportrayedastheymightbeseenfromspace;onecanseethecurvatureoftheEarthandthedarknessofspacenearthetopofthepage.TheEarthisnowswirlsofwhiteandblueagainstablackbackground.TheEarthisasmallblueandwhitesphereagainstablackbackground.TheEarthisatinywhitedotagainstablackbackground.

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