The Effects of Socioeconomic Status, Race, and Parenting on Language Development in Early Childhood

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Roger Mills-Koonce, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The authors examined the associations between socioeconomic status (SES), race, maternal sensitivity, and maternal negative-intrusive behaviors and language development in a sample selected to reduce the typical confound between race and SES (n = 146). Mother–child interactions were observed at 12 and 24 months (coded by randomly assigned African American and European American coders); language abilities were assessed at 18, 24, 30, and 36 months. For receptive language, race was associated with ability level, and maternal sensitivity and negative-intrusive parenting were related to rate of growth. For expressive communication, race, SES, and maternal sensitivity were associated with rate of growth; race moderated the association between negative-intrusive parenting and rate of growth such that the relation was weaker for African American than for European American children. The results highlight the importance of sensitive parenting and suggest that the association between negative-intrusive parenting and language development may depend upon family context. Future work is needed concerning the race differences found, including examining associations with other demographic factors and variations in language input experienced by children, using culturally and racially validated indices of language development.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Socioeconomic Status, Race, Parenting, Language Development, Family, Racial and Ethnic Differences

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