Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early experience found critical for language development

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Researchers studying more than 100 children who were in foster care in Romania, have found that children who were placed in foster care before they turned 2 had substantially greater language skills at age 3-1/2 than children who stayed in institutional care, with those placed by 15 months showing language skills similar to the comparison group. Findings highlight the importance of early intervention.

We know that poor social and physical environments can harm young children's cognitive and behavioral development, and that development often improves in better environments. Now a new study of children living in institutions has found that intervening early can help young children develop language, with those placed in better care by 15 months showing language skills similar to children raised by their biological parents.

Related Articles


The study, in the journal Child Development, was conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, the University of Virginia, Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston, the University of Maryland, and Tulane University.

Researchers studied more than 100 children who were part of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a longitudinal study of institutional and foster care in Romania. Historically, institutions there have provided very limited opportunities for language and social interaction among children. In this study, about half of the children were placed in foster homes at about 22 months, while the other half continued living in institutions. About 60 typically developing children who lived with their biological families in the same communities served as a comparison group.

"Because institutional care was the norm for these children, it was possible to create a natural experiment, comparing those in institutional care with those placed in foster care," according to lead author Jennifer Windsor, professor of speech-language-hearing sciences at the University of Minnesota.

The study found that children who were placed in foster care before they turned 2 had substantially greater language skills at age 3-1/2 than children who stayed in institutional care, with those placed by 15 months showing language skills similar to the comparison group. In contrast, children placed in foster care after they turned 2 had the same severe language delays as those who stayed in institutional care.

"This shows that not only is the change to high-quality foster care beneficial for these children, but the timing of the change appears to be important," according to Windsor.

The findings highlight the importance of intervening early to help young children develop language. They also provide insights for parents who adopt internationally. "Many infants and toddlers who are adopted from other countries and come to the United States develop language quickly," Windsor notes. "However, older children who have been living in poor care environments may be at high risk for language delays."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer Windsor, Joann P. Benigno, Christine A. Wing, Patrick J. Carroll, Sebastian F. Koga, Charles A. Nelson III, Nathan A. Fox and Charles H. Zeanah. Effect of Foster Care on Young Children’s Language Learning. Child Development, 16 June 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01604.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Early experience found critical for language development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617081541.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2011, June 20). Early experience found critical for language development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617081541.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Early experience found critical for language development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617081541.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins