This research was supported in part by a University of Iowa Old Gold Summer Fellowship. The authors would like to thank Lisa Oakes for her helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper, and the following preschools for their enthusiastic cooperation: Brookland Woods Child Care Center, Eadeschool, Kindercampus, Montessori School of Iowa City, and Rainbow Day Care Center. Portions of this paper were presented at the 1992 Conference on Human Development in Atlanta, GA, April 10–12, and at the 1993 Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development In New Orleans, LA, March 25–28.
The Early Development of Children's Communication about Nested Spatial Relations
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 66, Issue 4, pages 959–969, August 1995
How to Cite
Plumert, J. M., Ewert, K. and Spear, S. J. (1995), The Early Development of Children's Communication about Nested Spatial Relations. Child Development, 66: 959–969. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00915.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
This investigation examined how the nature of the spatial relation influences young children's ability to remember and communicate about nested landmarks. Of particular interest was whether young children are more likely to use a supporting than a proximal landmark to disambiguate identical landmarks (e.g., “it's in the basket on the table” vs. “it's in the basket next to the table”). 3- and 4-year-olds hid objects in a dollhouse and described their locations. Children had to disambiguate the target primary landmark by relating it to a supporting or proximal secondary landmark. Both age groups almost always provided the primary landmark, but 4-year-olds were more likely to provide the secondary landmark than were 3-year-olds. Moreover, children were more successful at providing supporting than proximal secondary landmarks. These results suggest that both referential communication skills and biases in coding location influence children's communication about nested landmarks.