Friday, May 15, 2009

Mothers' talk is key to kids' social skills, study says

CNN article on a British study:

You can predict even from when the children are 3 or 4 what their social understanding will be like when they're 8 or 9," said Nicola Yuill, lead author and senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sussex in England.

This effect becomes weaker from ages 10 to 12, perhaps because as children get older, they spend less time at home, and their peers and teachers influence them more, she said.

The 12-year-olds, however, generally did as well as their mothers on social understanding tasks, indicating that children at this age can be as "socially sophisticated" as adults, the authors said.

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