How Early Maternal Language Input Varies by Race and Education and Predicts Later Child Language

Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Reynolds, E., & Willoughby, M.

From the abstract: "The maternal language input literature suggests that mothers with more education use a greater quantity and complexity of language with their young children compared to mothers with less education although race and socioeconomic status have been confounded in most studies because of small sample sizes. The current Family Life study included a representative sample of 1,292 children, oversampling for poverty and African American, followed from birth. This study found no race differences within maternal education levels on five measures of maternal language input from 6 to 36 months. Maternal language input variables of number of different words, mean length of utterance and number of wh‚Äźquestions were partial mediators of the relationship between maternal education and later child language at school age."

Related Project(s):
Family Life Project
Available here: Child Development
Citation: Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Reynolds, E., & Willoughby, M. (2020). How early maternal language input varies by race and education and predicts later child language. Child Development, 91, 1098-1115.
DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13281