Preprint version. Published in Child Development, Volume 74, Issue 2, March 1, 2003, pages 629-644.
This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Mother-Child Conversation and Children's Understanding of Biological and Nonbiological Changes in Size, Jennifer L. Lipson and Maureen A. Callanan, Child Development, 74;2.
This article explores the ways that mothers and children from primarily middle-income European American backgrounds reason about events in which biological and nonbiological objects change in size. In Study 1, mother–child conversations were examined to investigate the events mothers described as growth, as well as the ways mothers explained events occurring in different domains. Findings indicate that although mothers primarily discussed events in domain-specific ways, they exhibited some domain blurring in their talk to children. In Study 2,3-year-old children (M = 3 years, 2 months) and 5-year-old children (M = 5 years) provided descriptions and explanations of the same events. Results suggest that preschool children have begun to develop domain-specific understandings. Results are discussed in light of the role that social interaction plays in children’s conceptual development.