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Links Between Early Temperament and Language Acquisition
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
  • Wallace E. Dixon, Jr., Heidelberg College
  • P. Hull Smith, University of Toledo

Investigated were predicted relationships between language acquisition and temperamental attentional control and positive affectivity. Mothers of 40 toddlers completed the Toddler Temperament Scale at ages 13 and 20 months and the Communicative Development Inventory at 20 months (Study 1). Also obtained were Infant Behavior Questionnaire and Communicative Development Inventory data on 7- through 21-month-olds (ns ranged from 101 to 47, respectively; Study 2). Attentional control and positive affectivity predicted language production (Study 1) and comprehension (Study 2). Adaptability and soothability, mood and smiling/laughter, and persistence and duration of orientation were all positively associated with language development. Temperament may impact on language through attention and positive emotionality. The role of positive emotionality may depend on its temporal proximity to the language learning setting.

Citation Information
Wallace E. Dixon, Jr. and P. Hull Smith. "Links Between Early Temperament and Language Acquisition" (2000)
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