The impact of positive parenting behaviors and maternal depression on the features of young children's home language environments

Amy E. Treat, Amanda Sheffield Morris, Jennifer Hays-Grudo, Amy C. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigated the associations between maternal depression when infants were 3 to 11 months old (M = 6 months), and positive parenting behaviors when children were between 12 and 22 months (M = 17 months) and the home language environment assessed when children were 18 to 28 months old (M = 23.5 months) in a sample of 29 low-income mother-child dyads. After controlling for maternal education, only teaching behaviors remained a moderate and significant predictor of adult word counts. Observed teaching behaviors significantly predicted conversational turns and marginally predicted child vocalizations; effects sizes were small. Encouraging behaviors were a small and significant predictor of conversational turns and a marginally significant predictor of adult word counts. Maternal depression was a moderate and significant predictor of children's vocal productivity scores and a small, marginal predictor of conversational turns. These findings have important implications for parenting and children's language outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-400
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • early language environments
  • maternal depression
  • parenting

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