About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 15 November 2022
Manuscript Submission Deadline 28 February 2023

Language is crucial in child development. Therefore, general questions such as what are the possible challenges in language acquisition or such as how well the/my child is doing, are commonly present for researchers, clinicians, teachers, and parents. Parent-child interaction offers a privileged setting to observe children’s behavior in multiple communicative situations, which often is only available to the parents/caregivers. For this reason, within the broad range of methods used to assess children’s development, parental questionnaires are widely used being a non-invasive and inexpensive instrument to obtain information which is otherwise difficult to obtain.

Data obtained with the many questionnaires covering various aspects of child development and communicative competence are equally relevant for basic research and everyday clinical practice. Development and use of parental questionnaires as well as data interpretation frequently require an interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach, bringing together developmental psychologists and practitioners. This interdisciplinarity is assumed but rarely addressed directly.

The goal for this collection is to present a wide range of research papers covering different perspectives and concerns related to parental questionnaires developed to assess children’s verbal and gestural communicative skills in different languages. Our intention is to provide a space to discuss a number of issues related to the questionnaires such as their design, administration, and limitations. Additional issues such as the accuracy of different instruments, ease of administration, their specificities in form, goals and target populations, the reliability of the data, their utility for research in psychology, education and (socio-)linguistics, as well as for clinical and teaching practice, will be discussed. Ethical issues in their implementation will be also considered.

Bearing in mind that there are parental reports covering a number of developmental aspects, such as communicative competence, verbal interaction, vocabulary size, and so on, we would focus mainly on parental questionnaires related to language development in mono-, bi-, or multilingual children, to typical or impaired language development, taking into account interdisciplinary approach and paying special attention to their use in the assessment of children in the use of minority languages/varieties with scarce assessment instruments and/or with low numbers of speakers. The paper collection will also provide a guide for younger researchers interested in the study of early language development based on parental reports.

Any type of article type (A, B, C or D) which presents or discusses results of research conducted using parental questionnaires used to assess child language development and dealing with any of the following specific themes will be welcome:
• Lexical development
• Gestural and verbal development
• Grammatical development
• Communicative development
• Prematurity effects in language non-verbal and verbal development
• Gender differences in language development
• Language development/assessment in children with language impairment
• Language development/assessment in bi-/multilingual children
• (Early) Language development and processing
• Early language competence as a predictor for later communicative skills
• Ethical issues in the administration, use and implementation of parental questionnaires
• Reliability of questionnaire data

Keywords: questionnaire, parental report, early development, scales, child language


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Language is crucial in child development. Therefore, general questions such as what are the possible challenges in language acquisition or such as how well the/my child is doing, are commonly present for researchers, clinicians, teachers, and parents. Parent-child interaction offers a privileged setting to observe children’s behavior in multiple communicative situations, which often is only available to the parents/caregivers. For this reason, within the broad range of methods used to assess children’s development, parental questionnaires are widely used being a non-invasive and inexpensive instrument to obtain information which is otherwise difficult to obtain.

Data obtained with the many questionnaires covering various aspects of child development and communicative competence are equally relevant for basic research and everyday clinical practice. Development and use of parental questionnaires as well as data interpretation frequently require an interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach, bringing together developmental psychologists and practitioners. This interdisciplinarity is assumed but rarely addressed directly.

The goal for this collection is to present a wide range of research papers covering different perspectives and concerns related to parental questionnaires developed to assess children’s verbal and gestural communicative skills in different languages. Our intention is to provide a space to discuss a number of issues related to the questionnaires such as their design, administration, and limitations. Additional issues such as the accuracy of different instruments, ease of administration, their specificities in form, goals and target populations, the reliability of the data, their utility for research in psychology, education and (socio-)linguistics, as well as for clinical and teaching practice, will be discussed. Ethical issues in their implementation will be also considered.

Bearing in mind that there are parental reports covering a number of developmental aspects, such as communicative competence, verbal interaction, vocabulary size, and so on, we would focus mainly on parental questionnaires related to language development in mono-, bi-, or multilingual children, to typical or impaired language development, taking into account interdisciplinary approach and paying special attention to their use in the assessment of children in the use of minority languages/varieties with scarce assessment instruments and/or with low numbers of speakers. The paper collection will also provide a guide for younger researchers interested in the study of early language development based on parental reports.

Any type of article type (A, B, C or D) which presents or discusses results of research conducted using parental questionnaires used to assess child language development and dealing with any of the following specific themes will be welcome:
• Lexical development
• Gestural and verbal development
• Grammatical development
• Communicative development
• Prematurity effects in language non-verbal and verbal development
• Gender differences in language development
• Language development/assessment in children with language impairment
• Language development/assessment in bi-/multilingual children
• (Early) Language development and processing
• Early language competence as a predictor for later communicative skills
• Ethical issues in the administration, use and implementation of parental questionnaires
• Reliability of questionnaire data

Keywords: questionnaire, parental report, early development, scales, child language


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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