Maternal Language and Child Vocabulary Mediate Relations Between Socioeconomic Status and Executive Function During Early Childhood

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Abstract

This article examined longitudinal relations among socioeconomic risk, maternal language input, child vocabulary, and child executive function (EF) in a large sample (N = 1,009) recruited for a prospective longitudinal study. Two measures of maternal language input derived from a parent–child picture book task, vocabulary diversity (VOCD), and language complexity, showed variation by socioeconomic risk at child ages 15, 24, and 36 months. Maternal VOCD at child age 24 months and maternal language complexity at child age 36 months mediated the relation between socioeconomic risk and 48-month child EF, independent of parenting sensitivity. Moreover, 36-month child vocabulary mediated the relation between maternal language input and child EF. These findings provide novel evidence about mechanisms linking socioeconomic risk and child executive function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2001-2018
Number of pages18
JournalChild development
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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