Sociodemographic Risk and Infants’ Emerging Language Ability: Examining the Indirect Effects of Maternal Sensitivity and Nurturance to Distress: Parenting: Vol 22, No 1


Objective. To take a look at whether or not maternal sensitivity in non-distress contexts and nurturance to infants’ distress mediate the affiliation among cumulative sociodemographic chance and children’s rising language skill. Style and design. Individuals ended up a community sample of mothers and their infants (n = 99). In the course of an original house pay a visit to, moms and infants 6 to 12 months old were videorecorded for the duration of no cost-engage in and toddler distress-eliciting duties, and moms offered demographic information. Maternal behaviors were being coded for sensitivity and nurturance to distress. Six months just after the household visit, mothers documented children’s language means. Cumulative risk was a latent variable with dichotomous indicators of substantial faculty instruction or fewer, cash flow-to-requirements ratio <1, maternal age ≤21, single parenthood, and minority status. Child language, a latent variable with five percentile scores as indicators, was regressed onto sensitivity, nurturance, and the latent risk variable. The indirect effects between sociodemographic risk and child language outcome via sensitivity and nurturance to distress were also estimated. Results. Risk was negatively associated with maternal sensitivity and nurturance to distress in infancy. Sensitivity, but not nurturance to distress, mediated the association between risk and child language ability between 12 and 22 months of age. Conclusions. Maternal sensitivity in non-distress contexts may represent an important target of intervention programs aimed at enhancing early language development among high-risk families.

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