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The impact of positive parenting behaviors and maternal depression on the features of young children's home language environments

  • Amy E. TREAT (a1), Amanda SHEFFIELD MORRIS (a1), Jennifer HAYS-GRUDO (a1) and Amy C. WILLIAMSON (a1)


This study investigated the associations between maternal depression when infants were 3 to 11 months old (M = 6 months), and positive parenting behaviors when children were between 12 and 22 months (M = 17 months) and the home language environment assessed when children were 18 to 28 months old (M = 23.5 months) in a sample of 29 low-income mother–child dyads. After controlling for maternal education, only teaching behaviors remained a moderate and significant predictor of adult word counts. Observed teaching behaviors significantly predicted conversational turns and marginally predicted child vocalizations; effects sizes were small. Encouraging behaviors were a small and significant predictor of conversational turns and a marginally significant predictor of adult word counts. Maternal depression was a moderate and significant predictor of children's vocal productivity scores and a small, marginal predictor of conversational turns. These findings have important implications for parenting and children's language outcomes.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Oklahoma State University – HDFS, 700 North Greenwood Main Hall, Tulsa Oklahoma 74070, United States. E-mail:


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The impact of positive parenting behaviors and maternal depression on the features of young children's home language environments

  • Amy E. TREAT (a1), Amanda SHEFFIELD MORRIS (a1), Jennifer HAYS-GRUDO (a1) and Amy C. WILLIAMSON (a1)


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