Patterns of Maternal Interactive Behaviors and Dual Vocabulary Development in Mexican American Children

Laura K. Winstone, Viridiana L. Benitez, Lauren van Huisstede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Children learn the words of their native language(s) from interactions with their caregivers. Although previous research has found that the language children hear during those interactions predicts vocabularyoutcomes, few studies have investigated how qualitative features of social interactions work togetherto affect children's vocabulary development, particularly for underresourced, languageminoritized children. This study examined patterns of maternal interactive behaviors during toddlerhoodin relation to children’s later Spanish and English vocabulary development among 318 low-income,Mexican American families. Five maternal behaviors (acknowledging, elaborating, gaze, vocal appropriateness,and overriding) were coded from video recordings at age 24 months. At 36 and 54 months,child expressive vocabulary was assessed in both English and Spanish. Latent class analysis identifiedfive distinct patterns of maternal interactive behaviors, which differentially supported or compromisedchild expressive language in English and Spanish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1866-1879
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2021


  • Dual language development
  • Latent class analysis
  • Mexican
  • Mexican american
  • Parent-child interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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