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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674

Abstract

LE ROUX, Elizabeth W. et al. The effect of a parental mHealth resource on language outcomes in 4- to 5-year-old children. SAJCE [online]. 2022, vol.12, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2223-7682.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1026.

BACKGROUND: The use of mobile health (mHealth) technology is rapidly expanding in healthcare worldwide. mHealth tools may provide parents with access to resources essential for promoting language development. AIM: The current study aimed to determine how an mHealth parental resource influenced 42 preschool children's (4.0-5.11 months old) language abilities after a 17-week intervention period. SETTING: Participants were identified from six early childhood development (ECD) centres from a low-income community in Tshwane, South Africa. METHOD: A randomised controlled trial (RCT), pre-test post-test research design was employed to determine whether an mHealth parental resource influenced 42 preschool children's (4.0-5.11 months old) language abilities after a 17-week intervention period. Data were collected using the language subtests of a South African standardised protocol, the Emergent Literacy and Language Assessment Protocol (ELLA). RESULTS: The parental mHealth application targeting language stimulation did not significantly improve the experimental group's language outcomes when compared with the control group because most of the parents (n = 27) used the application for less than 20% of the active days. CONCLUSION: Providing parents with more support with mobile resources may lead to improved usage of the application.

Keywords : parental resource; mHealth; language development; preschool children; early child development.

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