Parenting Stress and Linguistic Environment on Language Acquisition in Children in Poverty and Deaf Children.
Rich language input during the early years is critical for the development of language and social skills that support positive literacy, academic, and vocational outcomes. Healthy parent-child interactions are known to contribute to increased quality and quantity of adult language in a child’s linguistic environment. However, children living in poverty and deaf/hard of hearing children with hearing parents are at risk for impoverished language input due to environmental or physiological deprivation and parenting stress experienced by caregivers. This pilot study will explore the relationship between early language environment, parenting stress, and language acquisition in cases of potential language deprivation. Participants will be children ages 18- to 24-months with typical hearing born into poverty and children ages 18- to 24-months with hearing loss born to hearing parents, as well as their parents. Parent-child dyads will complete a battery of observational, behavioral, and physiological measures of adult language input and speech, language and social-emotional development. Parents will complete standardized questionnaires on the degree of parenting stress present in the parent-child relationship. Performance on these measures will be compared to identify strengths and weaknesses for each child, as well as group differences and associations between variables across groups.