An ethnographic multiple-case study of mother-child interaction strategies in Singapore-based Chinese families

Li Ren, Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous research has shown that differences in the speech that children are exposed to can lead to differences in their language, literacy and cognitive development, and may even affect subsequent success at school. Informed by Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of language learning in early childhood and Sigel's Psychological Distancing Model, this ethnographic multiple-case study analyzes maternal interaction strategies in four Chinese families in Singapore - two local and two immigrant families - to explore factors that influence choice of interaction strategies. Cross-case comparisons are made in terms of the mothers' professional and cultural backgrounds, and within-case comparisons are made along the lines of contextual factors. The comparisons reveal both important similarities and differences in the mothers' use of interaction strategies which was shaped by an array of social, cultural, and contextual factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-300
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Distancing strategies
  • Family literacy practices
  • Immigrant families
  • Maternal interaction strategies
  • Singapore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Communication
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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