Early Communicative Gestures Prospectively Predict Language Development and Executive Function in Early Childhood

Kuhn, L. J., Willoughby, M. T., Parramore Wilbourn, M., Vernon-Feagans, L., Blair, C. B., & the Family Life Project Key Investigators
2014

From the abstract: "Using an epidemiological sample (= 1,117) and a prospective longitudinal design, this study tested the direct and indirect effects of preverbal and verbal communication (15 months to 3 years) on executive function (EF) at age 4 years. Results indicated that whereas gestures (15 months), as well as language (2 and 3 years), were correlated with later EF (φs ≥ .44), the effect was entirely mediated through later language. In contrast, language had significant direct and indirect effects on later EF. Exploratory analyses indicated that the pattern of results was comparable for low- and not-low-income families..."

Available here: Child Development
Citation: Kuhn, L. J., Willoughby, M. T., Parramore Wilbourn, M., Vernon-Feagans, L., Blair, C. B., & the Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2014). Early communicative gestures prospectively predict language development and executive function in early childhood. Child Development, 85, 1898-1914.
DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12249