SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months
Version of Record online: 8 DEC 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 234–248, March 2013
How to Cite
Fernald, A., Marchman, V. A. and Weisleder, A. (2013), SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months. Developmental Science, 16: 234–248. doi: 10.1111/desc.12019
- Issue online: 23 FEB 2013
- Version of Record online: 8 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 29 JAN 2012
This research revealed both similarities and striking differences in early language proficiency among infants from a broad range of advantaged and disadvantaged families. English-learning infants (n = 48) were followed longitudinally from 18 to 24 months, using real-time measures of spoken language processing. The first goal was to track developmental changes in processing efficiency in relation to vocabulary learning in this diverse sample. The second goal was to examine differences in these crucial aspects of early language development in relation to family socioeconomic status (SES). The most important findings were that significant disparities in vocabulary and language processing efficiency were already evident at 18 months between infants from higher- and lower-SES families, and by 24 months there was a 6-month gap between SES groups in processing skills critical to language development.