Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study investigated the influence of the audience and narrator’s gender on spoken narratives produced by Chinese children. Sixty typically developing five- and six-year-old children were evenly divided into three groups. Each group was assigned one audience, being a teacher, a same-age peer, or a younger peer. The children were asked to view a wordless picture book and retell the story to the audience. The results showed that the children tended to use more macrostructure elements when telling stories to same-age peers, with boys using more macrostructure elements than girls. Girls used more words and more events when narrating to younger peers, whereas boys used more words, more diverse words, and more evaluative language when narrating to teachers. In addition, the children marked temporality more in narratives to younger peers than to same-age peers. The findings indicated that the audience and narrator’s gender influence the narrative production of Chinese children.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Allen, V. L., & Feldman, R. S.
    (1973) Learning through tutoring: Low-achieving children as tutors. Journal of Experimental Education, 42(1), 1–5.10.1080/00220973.1973.11011433
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00220973.1973.11011433 [Google Scholar]
  2. Peterson, C. C., & Slaughter, V. P.
    (2006) Telling the story of theory of mind: deaf and hearing children’s narratives and mental state understanding. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24(1), 151–179.10.1348/026151005X60022
    https://doi.org/10.1348/026151005X60022 [Google Scholar]
  3. Astington, J. W.
    (2003) Sometimes necessary, never sufficient: False-belief understanding and social competence. InB. Repacholi & V. Slaughter (Eds.), Individual differences in theory of mind: Implications for typical and atypical development (pp.13–38). New York: Psychology Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Astington, J., & Baird-Smith, J.
    (2005) Why language matters for theory of mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159912.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159912.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  5. Banerjee, R.
    (2002) Audience effects on self-presentation in childhood. Social Development, 11(4), 487–507.10.1111/1467‑9507.00212
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00212 [Google Scholar]
  6. Barry, H., Bacon, M., & Child, I. L.
    (1957) A cross-cultural survey of some sex differences in socialization. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 55(3), 327–332.10.1037/h0041178
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0041178 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chang, C. J.
    (2004) Telling stories of experiences: Narrative development of young Chinese children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 25(1), 83–104.10.1017/S0142716404001055
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716404001055 [Google Scholar]
  8. (2006) Linking early narrative skill to later language and reading ability in Mandarin-speaking children: A longitudinal study over eight years. Narrative Inquiry, 16(2), 275–293.10.1075/ni.16.2.04cha
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.16.2.04cha [Google Scholar]
  9. Chapman, A. J.
    (1973) Social facilitation of laughter in children. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 9(6), 528–541.10.1016/0022‑1031(73)90035‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(73)90035-8 [Google Scholar]
  10. Chen, E. S. L., & Rao, N.
    (2011) Gender socialization in Chinese kindergartens: Teachers’ contributions. Sex Roles, 64(1), 103–116.10.1007/s11199‑010‑9873‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-010-9873-4 [Google Scholar]
  11. Degotardi, S., Sweller, N., & Pearson, E.
    (2013) Why relationships matter: parent and early childhood teacher perspectives about the provisions afforded by young children’s relationships. International Journal of Early Years Education, 21(1), 4–21.10.1080/09669760.2013.771325
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2013.771325 [Google Scholar]
  12. Dunn, P., Bretherton, I., & Munn, P.
    (1987) Conversations about feeling states between mothers and their young children. Developmental Psychology, 23(1), 132–139.10.1037/0012‑1649.23.1.132
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.23.1.132 [Google Scholar]
  13. Fivush, R., Haden, C., & Adam, S.
    (1995) Structure and coherence of preschoolers’ personal narratives over time: Implications for childhood amnesia. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 60(1), 32–56.10.1006/jecp.1995.1030
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jecp.1995.1030 [Google Scholar]
  14. Fivush, R., Brotman, M. A., Buckner, J. P., & Goodman, S. H.
    (2000) Gender differences in parent-child emotion narratives. Sex Roles, 42(3), 233–253.10.1023/A:1007091207068
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007091207068 [Google Scholar]
  15. Flannagan, D., & Baker-Ward, L.
    (1996) Relations between mother-child discussions of children’s preschool and kindergarten experiences. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 17(3), 423–437.10.1016/S0193‑3973(96)90035‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0193-3973(96)90035-0 [Google Scholar]
  16. Gao, L.
    (2015) Preliminary study of the effect of parent-Child autobiography narrative on children’s autobiographical memory. Unpublished master dissertation. Zhejiang Normal University.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Gong, Z. X., & Guo, D.
    (1984) An intelligence screening test for preschool and primary school children picture vocabulary test. Acta Psychologican Sinica, 16(4), 392–401.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Gray, S. M., & Heatherington, L.
    (2003) The importance of social context in the facilitation of emotional expression in men. Journal of social and clinical psychology, 22(3), 294–314.10.1521/jscp.
    https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp. [Google Scholar]
  19. Grossman, M., Peskin, J., & Juan, V. S.
    (2013) Thinking about a reader’s mind: forstering communicative clarity in the compositions of youth with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(10), 2376–2392.10.1007/s10803‑013‑1786‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1786-y [Google Scholar]
  20. Haden, C. A., & Haine, R. A., & Fivush, R.
    (1997) Developing narrative structure in parent-child reminiscing across the preschool years. Developmental Psychology, 33(2), 295–307.10.1037/0012‑1649.33.2.295
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.33.2.295 [Google Scholar]
  21. Hughes, C., Lecce, S., & Wilson, C.
    (2007) “Do you know what I want?” Preschoolers’ talk about desires, thoughts and feelings in their conversations with sibs and friends. Cognition and Emotion, 21(2), 330–350.10.1080/02699930600551691
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02699930600551691 [Google Scholar]
  22. Kintsch, W., & van Dijk, T. A.
    (1978) Toward a model of text comprehension and production. Psychological Review, 85, 363–394.10.1037/0033‑295X.85.5.363
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.85.5.363 [Google Scholar]
  23. Klein, H. E. M.
    (1999) Narrative. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 9,167–169.10.1525/jlin.1999.9.1‑2.167
    https://doi.org/10.1525/jlin.1999.9.1-2.167 [Google Scholar]
  24. Liu, J. B.
    (2005) On the significance and bounds of the teacher’s authority when she interacts with children-response to the article: how to select a child to raise the flag. Studies in preschool education, 1, 53–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Lougee, M., Grueneich, R., & Hartup, W.
    (1977) Social interaction in same-and mixed-age dyads of preschool children. Child Development, 48(4), 1353–161.10.2307/1128493
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1128493 [Google Scholar]
  26. MacWhinney, B.
    (2000) The CHILDES project: tools for analyzing talk. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associate.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Malloy, T. E., & Kenny, D. A.
    (1986) The Social Raelations Model: An intergrative model for personality research. Journal of Personality, 54, 199–225.10.1111/j.1467‑6494.1986.tb00393.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1986.tb00393.x [Google Scholar]
  28. Mayer, M.
    (1969) Frog, where are you?. New York: Dial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. McCabe & Peterson
    McCabe & Peterson (1991) Developing narrative structure. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. McCabe, A., & Bliss, S. L.
    (2003) Patterns of narrative discourse: A multicultural, life span approach. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. McCloskey, L. A.
    (1996) Gender and the expression of status in Children’s mixed-aged conversations. Journal of applied developmental psychology, 17(1), 117–133.10.1016/S0193‑3973(96)90009‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0193-3973(96)90009-X [Google Scholar]
  32. Melzi, G., & Fernández, C.
    (2004) Talking about past emotions: Conversations between Peruvian mothers and their preschool children. Sex Roles, 50(9), 641–657.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Miles, S., & Chapman, R. S.
    (2002) Narrative content as described by individuals with Down syndrome and typically developing children. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 45(1), 175–189.10.1044/1092‑4388(2002/013)
    https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2002/013) [Google Scholar]
  34. Norbury, C. F., & Bishop, D. V.
    (2003) Narrative skills of children with communication impairments. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 38(3), 287–313.10.1080/136820310000108133
    https://doi.org/10.1080/136820310000108133 [Google Scholar]
  35. Pasupathi, M., & Billitteri, J.
    (2015) Being and becoming through being heard: Listeners Effects on stories and selves. The International Journal of Listening, 29(2), 67–84.10.1080/10904018.2015.1029363
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10904018.2015.1029363 [Google Scholar]
  36. Preece, A.
    (1987) The range of narrative forms conversationally produced by young children. Journal of Child Language, 14(2), 353–37310.1017/S0305000900012976
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000900012976 [Google Scholar]
  37. Reese, E., & Fivush, R.
    (1993) Parental styles of talking about the past. Developmental Psychology, 29(3), 596–60610.1037/0012‑1649.29.3.596
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.29.3.596 [Google Scholar]
  38. Shatz, M., & Gelman, R.
    (1973) The development of communication skills: modifications in the speech of young children as a function of listener. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 38(5), 1–38.10.2307/1165783
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1165783 [Google Scholar]
  39. Terry, N. P., Mills, M. T., Bingham, G. E., Mansour, S., & Marencin, N.
    (2013) Oral narrative performance of African American Prekindergartners who speak Nonmainstream American English. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 44(3), 291–305.10.1044/0161‑1461(2013/12‑0037)
    https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2013/12-0037) [Google Scholar]
  40. Tsai, W. Y., & Chang, C. J.
    (2008) “But I first….and then he kept picking” Narrative skill in Mandarin-speaking children with language impairment. Narrative Inquiry, 18(2), 349–377.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Tompkins, V., & Farrar, M. J.
    (2011) Mothers’ autobiographical memory and book narratives with children with specific language impairment. Journal of communication disorders, 44(1), 1–22.10.1016/j.jcomdis.2010.06.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2010.06.002 [Google Scholar]
  42. Wang, Q., & Leichtman, M. D.
    (2000) Same beginning, different stories: a comparison of American and Chinese children’s narratives. Child Development, 71(5), 1329–1346.10.1111/1467‑8624.00231
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00231 [Google Scholar]
  43. Wang, Q.
    (2001) “Did you have fun?” American and Chinese mother-child conversations about shared emotional experiences. Cognitive Development, 16(2), 693–715.10.1016/S0885‑2014(01)00055‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-2014(01)00055-7 [Google Scholar]
  44. Wechsler, D.
    (1967) Wechsler preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. New York: Psychological Corporation.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Wærdahl, R. & Haldar, M.
    (2012) Socializing relations in the everyday lives of children: comparing domestic texts from Norway and China. Childhood, 20, 115–130.10.1177/0907568212443269
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568212443269 [Google Scholar]
  46. Wellman, R. L., Lewis, B. A., Freebairn, L. A., Avrich, A. A., Hansen, A. J., & Stein, C. M.
    (2011) Narrative ability of children with speech sound disorders and the prediction of later literacy skills. Language, speech, and hearing services in schools, 42(4), 561–579.10.1044/0161‑1461(2011/10‑0038)
    https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0038) [Google Scholar]
  47. Wolf, L. K., Bazargani, N., Kilford, E. J., Dumontheil, I., & Blakemore, S. -J.
    (2015) The audience effect in adolescence depends on who’s looking over your shoulder. Journal of Adolescence, 43, 5–14.10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.05.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.05.003 [Google Scholar]
  48. Yang, Y.
    (2015) A Comparative study on the narrative ability between migrant children and urban children. Unpublished master dissertation. Shanghai Normal University.
  49. Zajonc, R. B.
    (1965) Social facilitation. Science, 149, 269–274.10.1126/science.149.3681.269
    https://doi.org/10.1126/science.149.3681.269 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

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