Does age moderate the influence of early life language experiences? A Naturalistic home observation study

Katrina d'Apice*, Sophie von Stumm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explored if children's age moderated associations between their early life language experiences and their linguistic and cognitive skills. For 107 British children, aged 24 to 48 months, and their families, we collected 3 day-long audio-recordings of their naturalistic home environments (M = 15.06 h per day, SD = 1.87). Children's cognitive ability was assessed by parent-ratings and with a cognitive testing booklet that children completed at home. We found that the quantity, lexical diversity and vocabulary sophistication of adult speech were associated with children's linguistic and cognitive skills. However, these associations were not moderated by children's age. Our findings suggest that the influence of early life language experience is not differentiated at age 24 to 48 months, at least in the current sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-409
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Early online date21 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust Seed Award to Sophie von Stumm ( 108208/Z/15/Z ). Sophie von Stumm is recipient of a CRISP Fellowship from the Jacobs Foundation (2022 to 2027) and supported by a British Academy Fellowship (2022).

Publisher Copyright:
©2023 The Authors


  • Cognitive development
  • Home observation
  • Language
  • Parent-child Interaction

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