Differences in Early Gesture Explain SES Disparities in Child Vocabulary Size at School Entry
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CitationRowe, M. L., and S. Goldin-Meadow. 2009. “Differences in Early Gesture Explain SES Disparities in Child Vocabulary Size at School Entry.” Science 323 (5916) (February 13): 951–953. .
AbstractChildren from low–socioeconomic status (SES) families, on average, arrive at school with smaller
vocabularies than children from high-SES families. In an effort to identify precursors to, and
possible remedies for, this inequality, we videotaped 50 children from families with a range of
different SES interacting with parents at 14 months and assessed their vocabulary skills at 54
months. We found that children from high-SES families frequently used gesture to communicate at
14 months, a relation that was explained by parent gesture use (with speech controlled). In turn,
the fact that children from high-SES families have large vocabularies at 54 months was explained
by children’s gesture use at 14 months. Thus, differences in early gesture help to explain the
disparities in vocabulary that children bring with them to school.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13041217
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