Examining Dutch children’s vocabularies across infancy and toddlerhood: Demographic effects are age-specific and task-specific

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Abstract

Limited studies have examined demographic differences in children’s vocabulary in longitudinal samples, while there are questions regarding the duration, direction, and magnitude of these effects across development. In this longitudinal study, we included over 400 Dutch children. Caregivers filled out N-CDIs when children were 9–11 months (measuring word comprehension, word production, and gestures) and around 2–5 years of age (measuring word production). At 2–5 years, we also administered a receptive vocabulary task in the lab. We examined demographic effects on vocabulary size across infancy and toddlerhood. We found a disadvantage for males in infants’ gestures and toddlers’ vocabulary production. We found a negative effect of maternal education on infants’ caregiver-reported vocabulary, but a positive effect on toddlers’ lab-administered receptive vocabulary. Lastly, we found a negative effect of multilingualism – but only for the lab-administered task. Examining predictors in large, longitudinal samples ensures their robustness and generalisability across development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Language
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2024

Keywords

  • YOUth Cohort Study
  • caregiver reports
  • demographic effects
  • language assessment
  • vocabulary development

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