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This study examines potential predictors of ‘precocious talking’ (expressive language ⩾90th percentile) at one and two years of age, and of ‘stability’ in precocious talking across both time periods, drawing on data from a prospective community cohort comprising over 1,800 children. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between precocious talking and the following potential predictors: gender, birth order, birth weight, non-English speaking background, socioeconomic status, maternal age, maternal mental health scores, and vocabulary and educational attainment of parents. The strongest predictors of precocity (being female and having a younger mother) warrant further exploration. Overall, however, it appears that precocity in early vocabulary development is not strongly influenced by the variables examined, which together explained just 2·6% and 1% of the variation at 1 ; 0 and 2 ; 0 respectively.
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