Speaking of State of Mind: Maternal Mental Health Predicts Children's Home Language Environment and Expressive Language

Brandon Neil Clifford, Laura A. Stockdale, Sarah M. Coyne, Vanessa Rainey, Viridiana L. Benitez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Maternal depression and anxiety are potential risk factors to children's language environments and development. Though existing work has examined relations between these constructs, further work is needed accounting for both depression and anxiety and using more direct measures of the home language environment and children's language development. We examined 265 mother-infant dyads (49.6% female, Mage = 17.03 months) from a large city in the Western United States to explore the relations between self-reports of maternal depression and anxiety and observational indices of the home language environment and expressive language as captured by Language Environment Analysis (LENA) and parent-reported language comprehension and production. Results revealed maternal depressive symptoms to be negatively associated with home language environment and expressive language indices. Maternal anxiety symptoms were found to be negatively associated with children's parent-reported language production. These findings provide further evidence that maternal mental health modulates children's home language environments and expressive language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child Language
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • expressive language
  • language environment
  • maternal anxiety
  • maternal depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)

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