This study aims to explore the interplay between parents' arguments, children's reactions and topics of disagreement during mealtime conversations. Within a data corpus constituted by 30 video-recorded meals of 10 Swiss and Italian families, a corpus of 132 argumentative discussions was selected for a qualitative analysis through the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation. Findings indicate that both parents and children assume argument schemes related to the object of the disagreement: when the contested standpoints refer to food, arguments are based on a symptomatic relation; when they refer to the behavior of children, parents base their argumentation on a causal and analogy relation, while the children's reaction is typically an expression of further doubt or a mere opposition without providing any argument. The results of this study bring further light on the actual knowledge of argumentative interactions and the interplay between topics of disagreement and the argumentative strategies adopted by family members.
- Parent-child interaction