Specificity in Mother-Toddler Language-Play Relations Across the Second Year

Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Marc H. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relations among specific aspects of language (comprehension and production, semantics and utterance length) and relations between language and symbolic play were evaluated when children were 13 and 20 months of age. The contributions of maternal stimulation to toddler performance and whether associations among toddler abilities might be explained by maternal behaviors were also examined. Although measures of toddler language covaried, language-play associations in toddlers were specific to semantic aspects of language. Associations between mother and toddler behaviors emerged and tended to be specific: Maternal language related to toddler language, and maternal play related to toddler play. Moreover, relations among toddler ablities maintained after maternal influences were partialed. The multidimensional structure of language and specificities in language-play associations were discussed with reference to models of early representational development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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