Very low birth weight (VLBW; ≤1500 grams) preschoolers are at risk for cognitive and executive functioning (EF) difficulties. Maternal language quality may impact cognitive development in VLBW children. The aims of this study were to explore differences in maternal language (Spanish, English) and child cognitive abilities, and to explore associations between maternal language use (verbal scaffolding and structuring) and child cognitive abilities in VLBW preschoolers (3.5-4 years). Caregivers reported sociodemographic information. Cognitive abilities were measured using the WPPSI-III (VIQ, PIQ), Bear Dragon, and Gift Delay Peek scores. Results showed English speaking children scored higher on VIQ. For English speaking children, verbal scaffolding was positively correlated with VIQ, and structured statements were negatively associated with PIQ. When controlling for maternal education, the associations remained significant. Findings suggest maternal language use plays an important role in child cognitive development; these associations may vary by language group and be influenced by socioeconomic factors.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Prematurity, Spanish speaking, Maternal verbal behavior, Development
Moss, Natalia. "PRIMARY LANGUAGE, MATERNAL LANGUAGE USE, AND COGNITIVE OUTCOMES AMONG PRESCHOOLERS BORN VERY LOW BIRTH WEIGHT." (2016). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/psy_etds/102