Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study focuses on parent-child argumentation to identify the argumentative strategies most frequently used by parents to resolve in their favor the process of negotiation occurring during argumentative dialogues with their children at mealtime. Findings of the analysis of 132 argumentative dialogues indicate that parents mostly use arguments based on the notions of quality and quantity in food-related discussions. The parents use other types of arguments such as the appeal to consistency, the arguments from authority, and the arguments from analogy, in discussions related to the teaching of correct behaviors in social situations within and outside the family context. The results of this study show how parents and children contribute to co-constructing the dialogic process of negotiating their divergent opinions.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Arcidiacono, Francesco and Antonio Bova
    2015 “Activity-bound and activity-unbound arguments in response to parental eat-directives at mealtimes: Differences and similarities in children of 3–5 and 6–9 years old.” Learning, Culture and Social Interaction6: 40–55. 10.1016/j.lcsi.2015.03.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2015.03.002 [Google Scholar]
  2. 2017Interpersonal Argumentation in Educational and Professional Contexts. New York: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑59084‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59084-4 [Google Scholar]
  3. Arcidiacono, Francesco and Clotilde Pontecorvo
    2009 “Verbal conflict as a cultural practice in Italian family interactions between parents and preadolescents.” European Journal of Psychology of Education24(1): 97–117. 10.1007/BF03173477
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173477 [Google Scholar]
  4. Aukrust, Vibeke
    2002 “‘What did you do in school today?’ Speech genres and tellability in multiparty family mealtime conversations in two cultures.” InTalking to Adults, ed. by Shoshana Blum-Kulka and Catherine E. Snow , 55–84. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Blum-Kulka, Shoshana
    1997Dinner Talk: Cultural Patterns of Sociability and Socialization in Family Discourse. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bova, Antonio
    2015a “Adult as a source of expert opinion in child’s argumentation during family mealtime conversations.” Journal of Argumentation in Context4(1): 4–20. 10.1075/jaic.4.1.01bov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jaic.4.1.01bov [Google Scholar]
  7. 2015b “This is the cheese bought by Grandpa.” A study of the arguments from authority used by parents with their children during mealtimes.” Journal of Argumentation in Context4(2): 133–157. 10.1075/jaic.4.2.01bov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jaic.4.2.01bov [Google Scholar]
  8. 2015c “Children’s responses in argumentative discussions relating to parental rules and prescriptions.” Ampersand2: 109–121. 10.1016/j.amper.2015.08.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amper.2015.08.002 [Google Scholar]
  9. 2019The Functions of Parent-Child Argumentation. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:  10.1007/978‑3‑030‑20457‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20457-0 [Google Scholar]
  10. Bova, Antonio and Francesco Arcidiacono
    2013a “Invoking the authority of feelings as a strategic maneuver in family mealtime conversations.” Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology23(3): 206–224. 10.1002/casp.2113
    https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2113 [Google Scholar]
  11. 2013b “Investigating children’s Why-questions. A study comparing argumentative and explanatory function.” Discourse Studies15(6): 713–734. 10.1177/1461445613490013
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445613490013 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2014 “You must eat the salad because it is nutritious.” Argumentative strategies adopted by parents and children in food-related discussions at mealtimes.” Appetite73: 81–94. 10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.019
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.019 [Google Scholar]
  13. 2015 “Beyond conflicts. Origin and types of issues leading to argumentative discussions during family mealtimes.” Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict3(2): 263–288. 10.1075/jlac.3.2.02bov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlac.3.2.02bov [Google Scholar]
  14. 2017 “Interpersonal dynamics within argumentative interactions: An introduction.” InInterpersonal Argumentation in Educational and Professional Contexts, ed. by Francesco Arcidiacono and Antonio Bova . New York: Springer. doi:  10.1007/978‑3‑319‑59084‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59084-4 [Google Scholar]
  15. 2018 “Interplay between parental argumentative strategies, children’s reactions, and topics of disagreement during mealtime conversations.” Learning, Culture and Social Interaction19: 124–133. 10.1016/j.lcsi.2018.05.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2018.05.003 [Google Scholar]
  16. Bova, Antonio , Francesco Arcidiacono , and Fabrice Clément
    2017 “The transmission of what is taken for granted in children’s socialization: The role of argumentation in family interactions.” InArgumentation across Communities of Practice: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives, ed. by Cornelia Ilie and Giuliana Garzone , 259–288. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/aic.10.12bov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aic.10.12bov [Google Scholar]
  17. Brumark, Å.
    2008 “‘Eat your hamburger!’ – ‘No, I don’t want to!’ Argumentation and argumentative development in the context of dinner conversation in twenty Swedish families.” Argumentation22(2): 251–271. 10.1007/s10503‑007‑9061‑z
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-007-9061-z [Google Scholar]
  18. Caffi, Claudia
    1999 “On mitigation.” Journal of Pragmatics31(7): 881–909. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(98)00098‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00098-8 [Google Scholar]
  19. Dunn, Judy and Penny Munn
    1987 “Developmental of justification in disputes with mother and sibling.” Developmental Psychology23(6): 791–798. 10.1037/0012‑1649.23.6.791
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.23.6.791 [Google Scholar]
  20. van Eemeren, Frans H. and Rob Grootendorst
    2004A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The Pragma-Dialectical Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Goodwin Harness, Marjorie
    2007 “Occasioned knowledge exploration in family interaction.” Discourse and Society18(1): 93–110. 10.1177/0957926507069459
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926507069459 [Google Scholar]
  22. Heritage, John and Geoffrey Raymond
    2005 “The terms of agreement: Indexing epistemic authority and subordination in assessment sequences.” Social Psychology Quarterly68(1): 15–38. 10.1177/019027250506800103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/019027250506800103 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hester, Sally and Stephen Hester
    2010 “Conversational actions and category relations: An analysis of a children’s argument.” Discourse Studies12(1): 33–48. 10.1177/1461445609347233
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445609347233 [Google Scholar]
  24. Kuhn, Deanna
    1991The Skills of Argument. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511571350
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511571350 [Google Scholar]
  25. Laforest, Marty
    2002 “Scenes of family life: complaining in everyday conversation.” Journal of Pragmatics34(10–11): 1595–1620. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00077‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00077-2 [Google Scholar]
  26. MacWhinney, Brian
    2000The CHILDES Project: Tools for Analyzing Talk. 3rd edition. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Mead, Margaret
    1959Four Families. Ottawa: National Film Board of Canada.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Mercier, Hugo
    2011 “Reasoning serves argumentation in children.” Cognitive Development26(3): 177–191. 10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.12.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.12.001 [Google Scholar]
  29. Mondada, Lorenza
    2009 “The methodical organization of talking and eating: Assessments in dinner conversations.” Food Quality and Preference20(8): 558–571. 10.1016/j.foodqual.2009.03.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2009.03.006 [Google Scholar]
  30. Ochs, Elinor
    2006 “The cultural structuring of mealtime socialization.” New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development111: 35–49. 10.1002/cd.154
    https://doi.org/10.1002/cd.154 [Google Scholar]
  31. Ochs, Elinor and Merav Shohet
    2006 “The cultural structuring of mealtime socialization.” InFamily Mealtime as a Context of Development and Socialization. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development Series. Vol.11, ed. by Reed W. Larson , Kathryn R. Branscomb and Anglea R. Wiley , 35–50. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Ochs, Elinor and Carolyn Taylor
    1992 “Family narrative as political activity.” Discourse and Society3(3): 301–340. 10.1177/0957926592003003003
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926592003003003 [Google Scholar]
  33. Pontecorvo, Clotilde and Francesco Arcidiacono
    2016 “The dialogic construction of justifications and arguments in a seven-year-old child within a ‘democratic’ family.” Language and Dialogue6(2): 306–328. 10.1075/ld.6.2.05pon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ld.6.2.05pon [Google Scholar]
  34. Pontecorvo, Clotilde and Alessandra Fasulo
    1997 “Learning to argue in family shared discourse: The reconstruction of past events.” InDiscourse, Tools and Reasoning: Essays on Situated Cognition, ed. by Lauren Resnick , Roger Säljö , Clotilde Pontecorvo , and Barbara Burge , 406–442. New York, NY: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑662‑03362‑3_18
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-03362-3_18 [Google Scholar]
  35. 1999 “Planning a typical Italian meal: A family reflection on culture.” Culture Psychology5(3): 313–335. 10.1177/1354067X9953004
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X9953004 [Google Scholar]
  36. Pontecorvo, Clotilde , Alessandra Fasulo , and Laura Sterponi
    2001 “Mutual apprentices: Making of parenthood and childhood in family dinner conversations.” Human Development44(6): 340–361. 10.1159/000046155
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000046155 [Google Scholar]
  37. Pontecorvo, Clotilde and Sabine Pirchio
    2000 “A developmental view on children’s arguing: The need of the other.” Human Development43(6): 361–363. 10.1159/000022696
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000022696 [Google Scholar]
  38. Pontecorvo, Clotilde and Laura Sterponi
    2002 “Learning to argue and reason through discourse in educational settings.” InLearning for Life in the 21st Century: Sociocultural Perspectives on the Future of Education, ed. by Gordon Wells and Guy Claxton , 127–140. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. 10.1002/9780470753545.ch10
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470753545.ch10 [Google Scholar]
  39. Raymond, Geoffrey and John Heritage
    2006 “The epistemics of social relations: Owning grandchildren.” Language in Society35(5): 677–705. 10.1017/S0047404506060325
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404506060325 [Google Scholar]
  40. Rigotti, Eddo and Greco S. Morasso
    2009 “Argumentation as an object of interest and as a social and cultural resource.” InArgumentation and Education, ed. by Nathalie Muller-Mirza and Anne-Nelly Perret-Clermont , 1–61. New York, NY: Springer. 10.1007/978‑0‑387‑98125‑3_2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-98125-3_2 [Google Scholar]
  41. Sarangapani, Padma M.
    2003Constructing School Knowledge. An Ethnography of Learning in an Indian Village. New Delhi: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Slomkowski, Cheryl L. and Judy Dunn
    1992 “Arguments and relationships within the family: Differences in young children’s disputes with mother and sibling.” Developmental Psychology28(5): 919–924. 10.1037/0012‑1649.28.5.919
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.28.5.919 [Google Scholar]
  43. Tulviste, Tiia , Luule Mizera , Boer De Geer , and Marja-terttu Tryggvason
    2002 “Regulatory comments as tools of family socialization: A comparison of Estonian, Swedish and Finnish mealtime interaction.” Language in Society31(5): 655–678. 10.1017/S0047404502315045
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404502315045 [Google Scholar]
  44. Voss, James F. and Julie A. van Dyke
    2001 “Argumentation in psychology: Background comments.” Discourse Processes32(2–3): 89–111. 10.1207/S15326950DP3202&3_01
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15326950DP3202&3_01 [Google Scholar]
  45. Vuchinich, Samuel
    1990 “The sequential organization of closing in verbal family conflict.” InConflict Talk, ed. by Allen Day Grimshaw , 118–138. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Walton, D. N.
    1997Appeal to Expert Opinion. Arguments from Authority. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Walton, Douglas N. , Chris Reed , and Fabrizio Macagno
    2008Argumentation Schemes. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511802034
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511802034 [Google Scholar]
  48. Weigand, Edda
    1999 “Rhetoric and argumentation in a dialogic perspective.” InRhetoric and Argumentation, ed. by Eddo Rigotti and Sara Cigada , 53–69. Tubingen: Niemeyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. 2001 “Games of power.” InNegotiation and Power in Dialogic Interaction, ed. by Edda Weigand and Marcelo Dascal , 63–76. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.214.06wei
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.214.06wei [Google Scholar]
  50. 2006 “Argumentation: The Mixed Game.” Argumentation20(1): 59–87. 10.1007/s10503‑006‑9000‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-006-9000-4 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): argumentative strategies; family; mealtime; negotiation; parent-child interaction
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error