Navigation Links
Baby Gestures Linked to Vocabulary Development
Date:2/12/2009

Kids from high-income families do better at both, but researchers not exactly sure why

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests the income and education levels of parents are connected to a baby's skills with gesturing, which in turn can indicate whether a child will develop strong language abilities.

"The children who are gesturing about more things in their environment have larger vocabularies later," said study author Meredith L. Rowe. "And we see that children from higher socioeconomic levels are gesturing more."

The research doesn't prove that children in less privileged families gesture less and therefore grow up with more limited vocabularies. Nor is every baby destined to follow the general patterns found by researchers.

"We're not saying that gesture is the whole story," added Rowe, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago. But the links uncovered in the study do help researchers "pinpoint some things that seem to matter," she said.

While they don't get quite as much attention as words, gestures are also an effective form of communication: Think of sign language, for instance. Babies, in fact, start gesturing before they speak, Rowe said.

In the new study, Rowe and researchers examined 50 children from the Chicago area when they were 14 months old and then again at 4.5 years. The researchers filmed 90-minute videos of the kids interacting with their parents at home for the first session, and tested their vocabulary in the second.

The findings were published in the Feb. 13 issue of Science.

The researchers found that the level of gesturing at 14 months is linked to the vocabulary level at 4.5 years; the income and education of parents also played a role. For instance, during the first session, the children from high-income households gestured 24 times, compared to 13 gestures from kids in low-income homes. And when both groups were tested for vocabulary, the kids from the high-income families scored 117, compared to 93 in the other group.

Spencer Kelly, a gesture researcher and an associate professor of psychology at Colgate University in New York, said children from more privileged households might live in homes with more objects, such as toys and furniture. As a result, they may "provide more opportunities for parent and child to use gestures when talking about things."

It's also possible that the children might have more opportunities for activities with their families, because there may be fewer children and more free time, Kelly said. "Much research has shown that these sorts of social activities help children learn language."

Why does all this matter? "Above and beyond what children and parents say with their words, what they do with their hands is important for how children develop language," Kelly said. "These results fit with recent research demonstrating that hand gestures enhance learning and memory in educational contexts, such as gaining new math skills or acquiring new words in a foreign language."

In the big picture, gesture appears to influence vocabulary, "which is a strong predictor of students' success," said Rowe. "If they're lagging in vocabulary, they might not have much of a chance to catch up."

The next step, she said, is to see if helping kids gesture more will help them develop better vocabulary.

More information

Learn more about language development in babies from the American Pregnancy Association.



SOURCES: Meredith L. Rowe, Ph.D., postdoctoral scholar, University of Chicago; Spencer Kelly, Ph.D., associate professor, psychology, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; Feb. 13, 2009, Science


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers discover metabolite linked to aggressive prostate cancer
2. Higher blood sugar levels linked to lower brain function in diabetics, study shows
3. Genes Help Cancer-Linked Viruses Elude Immune System
4. Marijuana Linked to Aggressive Testicular Cancer
5. Marijuana use linked to increased risk of testicular cancer
6. Effects of smoking linked to accelerated aging protein
7. Angiogenesis linked to poor survival in patients with rare type of ovarian cancer
8. Heart failure linked to cognitive impairment
9. Regular physical activity linked to better quality of life in early-stage lung cancer survivors
10. New Clues to Stopping Colitis-Linked Cancer
11. 2 immune-system proteins linked to colitis-associated cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Baby Gestures Linked to Vocabulary Development
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Salveo for life, a company that distributes an effervescent ... United States as part of its presence to expand its market reach. , Using ... the productions of nasty toxins as a result of drinking alcohol, eliminating those toxins ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) is ... multi-specialty medical group. The dermatology practice provides general dermatologic treatment, outpatient surgery, clinical ... this excellent dermatology practice to our group’s medical services,” explains NCMA CEO, Ruth ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... A new partnership between Goodwill® and Roadie, Inc. aims to make it easier ... couches to dressers and bicycles. Roadie — the national on-the-way delivery network — will ... through February 28th. , “January is an exciting time when resolutions are made ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... , ... Lice Troopers, the lice removal company based in South Florida, has ... holiday season. , “It happens every year around this time,” says owner, Arie ... which is the head-to-head gateway that lice need to spread.” , As children return ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Vitamin Well ... VW+ 002. The drinks have been produced in collaboration with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and ... your workout. , After a successful launch in Sweden last year, the next ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Conference Call and Webcast ... VNDA ) today announced it will release results for the fourth ... closes. ... will host a conference call at 4:30 PM ET on Wednesday, ... and full year 2016 financial results and other corporate activities. To ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... LONDON , January 19, 2017 Incretin ... Sympathomimetics and Others The global anti-obesity drugs ... the first half of the forecast period and CAGR of 38.7% ... expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.8% from 2016 to ... million in 2021, and $24,063 million in 2027. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... BOCA RATON, Fla. , Jan. 19, 2017 ... ), a medical device company specializing in the ... conditions, such as keloids, with superficial radiation therapy, ... quarter and full year 2016 financial results on Thursday, ... The Company will hold a conference call ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: