Language Socialization Among Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers

  • Pamela A. Saunders
Living reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)


Language socialization (LS) is a constructive theoretical framework through which to view interactions between persons with a diagnosis of dementia and their caregivers. The tenets of the LS paradigm are found in dementia research that examines communication and behavior through the social interactions of persons with dementia with their caregivers, often in institutional settings. This chapter examines LS as applied to persons with dementia and their caregivers, focusing on works from social sciences, with some inclusion of nursing and medical research that employs a socio-cultural lens, if not an LS one specifically. To begin, the background literature on language and dementia is reviewed. The section on Early Developments concentrates on communication disorders and psycholinguistic research on language deficits as well as sociolinguistic investigations into language and dementia. Early studies of caregiver communication training programs are discussed briefly. The section on Major Contributions explores how language is used to socialize persons with dementia and their caregivers and how language is used to socialize others to this experience. Works in Progress examines Validation Theory and the socialization of people suffering from dementia. Finally, Future Directions suggests how the incorporation of the arts – including poetry, theater, and music – might supplement existing clinical and qualitative studies focusing on everyday language, communication, and socialization. In addition, the need for definitional and methodological clarity across studies is underscored.


Language Communication Dementia Social construction Language socialization Alzheimer’s disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA

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