Anne Fernald, Virginia A. Marchman and Adriana Weisleder SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months Developmental Science 16
This longitudinal study examined developmental changes in language proficiency in a diverse group of English-learning infants from higher- and lower-SES families. Significant SES differences in both vocabulary and real-time language processing efficiency were already evident at age 18 months. By 24 months of age there was a 6-month gap between SES groups in processing skills critical to language development. Such a large disparity cannot simply be dismissed as a transitory delay, given that differences in trajectories of language growth established by 3 years of age tend to persist and are predictive of later school success or failure.
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