Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Child Development

Committee Chair(s)

Carroll Lambert


Carroll Lambert


Don C. Carter


The differences in the language labeling of Head Start or lower socioeconomic- class children and nursery school or middle-socioeconomic class children were studied in this research. Also studied were the differences among children within the two classes in their ability to label concrete objects and actions compared with pictures of the same things or actions.

Forty-eight children (24 Head Start and 24 nursery school) matched in sex and as closely as possible in age, were given a verbal labeling test which included questions in four areas: foods, animals, action words, and positional words. There were 40 questions, and half were of a real or concrete nature, and the other half were items in the form of picture questions.

The results indicate that there is a difference in the language labeling of the middle-class child compared with the language labeling of the lower-social-class child. Also, when responding incorrectly, the middle-class child more often than the lower-social-class child made a response that more closely resembled the correct response either in appearance or semantically.

The other finding was that there is no difference among children within each social class in this study in the labeling of real things or actions compared to pictures of the same things. In t he area of positional words there was a difference among the children within the two groups: in this group the middle- class children had more correct responses on the picture questions while the lower-social-class children had more correct responses on the concrete questions.