Using conversation analysis to investigate the efficacy of the Hanen Parent Programme for parents of preschool children with learning disabilities/language disorder.
The Hanen Training Programme, (Manolson, 1975)1 was devised to empower parents and caregivers to help children to communicate to the best of their abilities. In line with moves within the speech and language therapy profession towards an enabling model, the programme has been used widely by speech and language therapists with parents of children who have delayed language development. Conversation analysis is a qualitative methodology which allows evaluation of interactional aspects of language from naturally-occurring data and which thus has strong ecological validity. Whilst it has been used in speech and language therapy research to analyse interaction and motivate therapy with adults with aphasia, there is limited data published to date using conversation analysis with children. However studies are now emerging which demonstrate the utility of this methodology in relation to this client group (e.g. Volden, 2004)2. This study investigated the interactions between children and parents before, during and after participation in a Hanen programme, using video tapes which were subjected to conversation analysis. Five children aged between 2½ and 4 years with severe/moderate learning difficulties and their parents who were selected for Hanen intervention by their speech and language therapist in a child development centre participated. Videos were transcribed (including nonverbal behaviour) following standard conventions. The three principles advocated by Hanen (allowing, adapting and adding) were investigated by using conversation analysis focussing on: initiation within the parent-child interaction, facilitation used to enable the child to participate, the balance between parent and child turns, and patterns of repair. The researchers analysing the videos were blind to the order of recording. The results of the study will be discussed in terms of their implications for evaluating the effectiveness of the widely used Hanen training techniques, and will provide direction for further research.
Citation : Hickin, J., Cunningham, R., Flanagan, J. and Brown, A. (2007) Using conversation analysis to investigate the efficacy of the Hanen Parent Programme for parents of preschool children with learning disabilities/language disorder. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 42, Supplement
Research Group : Human Communication Studies
Research Institute : Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Peer Reviewed : Yes