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J Child Lang. 2008 Feb;35(1):185-205.

Child-directed speech: relation to socioeconomic status, knowledge of child development and child vocabulary skill.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. rowemer@uchicago.edu

Abstract

This study sought to determine why American parents from different socioeconomic backgrounds communicate in different ways with their children. Forty-seven parent-child dyads were videotaped engaging in naturalistic interactions in the home for ninety minutes at child age 2;6. Transcripts of these interactions provided measures of child-directed speech. Children's vocabulary comprehension skills were measured using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test at 2;6 and one year later at 3;6. Results indicate that: (I) child-directed speech with toddlers aged 2;6 predicts child vocabulary skill one year later, controlling for earlier toddler vocabulary skill; (2) child-directed speech relates to socioeconomic status as measured by income and education; and (3) the relation between socioeconomic status and child-directed speech is mediated by parental knowledge of child development. Potential mechanisms through which parental knowledge influences communicative behavior are discussed.

PMID:
18300434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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