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Early Child Res Q. 2010 Oct 1;25(4):450-463.

Fathers' Early Contributions to Children's Language Development in Families from Low-income Rural Communities.

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School of Education, The College of New Jersey, P.O. Box 7718, Ewing, NJ 08628, 609-771-3150.


This study utilized a large sample of two-parent families from low-income rural communities to examine the contributions of father education and vocabulary, during picture book interactions with their infants at 6 months of age, to children's subsequent communication development at 15 months and expressive language development at 36 months. After controlling for family demographics, child characteristics, as well as mother education and vocabulary, father education and father vocabulary during the picture-book task were related to more advanced language development at both 15 and 36 months of age. Only mother education, but not vocabulary during book-reading was related to children's later language. These findings support the growing evidence on the importance of fathers in understanding children's early communication and language development.

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