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Psychology Doctoral Dissertation Defense: LaTreese Hall

This is a past event.

Monday, March 18 at 11:00am to 1:00pm

DM - Deuxieme Maison, 258
11200 SW 8th ST, Deuxieme Maison, Miami, Florida 33199

Parent Math Talk: Social and Cognitive Influences

Math talk consists of number language (e.g., counting) and spatial language (e.g., shapes) and is fundamental for the development of children’s math and spatial abilities (He et al., 2022). The parent-child social context plays an important role in the number and spatial talk that parents produce with their children (Hall et al., 2023). This dissertation examined the associations between parents’ prosocial talk (e.g., praises), negation talk (e.g., corrections), math talk (e.g., number and spatial talk), and mental rotation ability in various play contexts. In study 1, 51 parents of 4- to 7-year-olds were observed for associations between prosocial, negation, number, and spatial talk during 10-minute block play and drawing tasks. Parents who produced higher quantities of prosocial talk also produced higher quantities of spatial talk during both tasks, controlling for overall talk. In study 2, we explored whether parents’ mental rotation task (MRT) scores related to their prosocial, negation, number, and spatial talk. There was no evidence for significant correlations between parents’ MRT scores and their number, spatial, or prosocial talk during either block play or drawing tasks. However, parents with higher MRT scores produced significantly fewer instances of negation talk to their children while building with Legos. In study 3, we investigated the effects of a behavioral intervention on parents’ production of math talk with their 12- to 15-month-olds. We analyzed longitudinal data from a randomized controlled trial of the Infant Behavioral Program (Bagner, et al., 2013) with 60 families to assess whether improved parenting behaviors are associated with increased mother math talk. While mothers produced more math talk with their infants over time, this relation was not significantly moderated by the behavioral intervention, which suggests targeted number/spatial language interventions are the best way to increase parents’ math talk. This dissertation contributes to the field by examining the extent to which parenting behaviors and MR ability may relate to parents’ math talk and exploring improved parent-child social interactions as a potential moderator of increased parent math talk over time. Importantly, this dissertation is the first to examine these associations with majority-Hispanic samples of families, a historically underrepresented population.

Major Professor: Dr. Shannon M. Pruden

Dial-In Information

Zoom ID: 508 524 1233 Passcode: fiu2024

Event Type

Academics, Lectures & conferences


Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


Department of Psychology


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