Mothers' and Fathers' Language Input From 6 to 36 Months in Rural Two-Parent-Families: Relations to Children's Kindergarten Achievement

Reynolds, E., Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Baker, C. E., & the Family Life Project Key Investigators
2019

From the abstract: "Research has highlighted the role of parental language input during early childhood as a way to facilitate children’s early vocabulary skills. However, few studies have examined the relationship between the specific features of both mothers’ and fathers’ early language input during a shared book experience and children’s kindergarten achievement (i.e., vocabulary, literacy, and math). Using an economically and culturally diverse sample of 567 children from the Family Life Project, this study examined whether mothers’ and fathers’ number of different words, mean length of utterance, and wh- questions from 6 to 36 months predicted children’s kindergarten achievement. Multiple regression models, examining mothers’ and fathers’ language separately and in combined models, indicated that both mothers’ and fathers’ language input was related with children’s kindergarten achievement, beyond a host of demographic controls. In the combined models, mothers’ mean length of utterance and wh- questions were significantly associated with vocabulary and their mean length of utterance was significantly associated with math outcomes in kindergarten. Fathers’ mean length of utterance and wh- questions were significantly associated with vocabulary, and their wh- questions were significantly associated with math outcomes in kindergarten. Implications for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are discussed."

Related Project(s):
Family Life Project
Citation: Reynolds, E., Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Baker, C. E., & the Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2019). Mothers' and fathers' language input from 6 to 36 months in rural two-parent-families: Relations to children's kindergarten achievement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 385-395.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.09.002