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Factors structuring lexical development in toddlers: The effects of parental education, language exposure, and age


Scaff, Camila; Fibla, Laia; Cristia, Alejandrina (2023). Factors structuring lexical development in toddlers: The effects of parental education, language exposure, and age. Journal of Child Language, 50(3):757-777.

Abstract

A growing body of research suggests that individual variation in young children’s word comprehension (indexed by response times and accuracy) is structured and meaningful. In this paper, we assess how children’s word comprehension correlates with three factors: socio-economic status (indexed by maternal education), lingual status (based on language exposure), and age. We present results from 91 2- to 3-year-old children using a paired forced-choice task built on a child-friendly touch screen. Effects associated with maternal education and exposure to the tested language (French) were small, and they were greater for accuracy than response times. This pattern of results is compatible with an interpretation whereby the greatest effects of these two variables are on cumulative knowledge (vocabulary size) rather than on processing. Effects for age were larger and affected both accuracy and response times. Finally, response time variation did not mediate the effects of socio-economic status on accuracy or vice versa.

Abstract

A growing body of research suggests that individual variation in young children’s word comprehension (indexed by response times and accuracy) is structured and meaningful. In this paper, we assess how children’s word comprehension correlates with three factors: socio-economic status (indexed by maternal education), lingual status (based on language exposure), and age. We present results from 91 2- to 3-year-old children using a paired forced-choice task built on a child-friendly touch screen. Effects associated with maternal education and exposure to the tested language (French) were small, and they were greater for accuracy than response times. This pattern of results is compatible with an interpretation whereby the greatest effects of these two variables are on cumulative knowledge (vocabulary size) rather than on processing. Effects for age were larger and affected both accuracy and response times. Finally, response time variation did not mediate the effects of socio-economic status on accuracy or vice versa.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Psychology, Linguistics and Language, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Language and Linguistics
Language:English
Date:1 May 2023
Deposited On:09 Jan 2023 10:43
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0305-0009
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0305000922000186
PubMed ID:35508901
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  • : FunderCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • : Grant ID
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