Mother-child talk during joint book reading in low-income American and Taiwanese families

Ya Hui Luo, Catherine E. Snow, Chien Ju Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This study compares interactions during joint book reading of 14 Taiwanese and 15 American mother-child pairs from low-income families. All mother-child pairs read the same book, 'The very hungry caterpillar', at home and their interactions were recorded. Taiwanese and American mothers demonstrated both similarities and differences during joint book reading. Taiwanese mothers talked more, gave and requested more information, but requested and received fewer evaluations from their children. These cross-cultural differences reveal that joint book reading is not just for entertainment; instead, it is a means for transmission of moral values and proper conduct as well as for the socialization of appropriate parent-child conversation styles in the Taiwanese and American families studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-511
Number of pages18
JournalFirst Language
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov


  • cross-cultural comparison
  • joint book reading
  • low-income families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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