C.J. Richier

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Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Early language development has been implicated in a variety of other critical developmental outcomes making it important to understand contributors to the emergence of early language. Although still understudied, there is increasing recognition that children’s temperament and early parenting may be important factors in the emergence of early language. To add to this growing body of work, in the current investigation, two aspects of temperament, infant fearfulness, underpinned by the behavioral inhibition system, and approach, underpinned by the behavioral activation system (Schwartz et al., 1999), were examined in relation to language when children were 14 months of age. In addition, mother’s tendency to employ intrusive/insensitive parenting behaviors during play was examined as a contributor to child language, and was also examined in relation to child language in interaction with child behavioral inhibition and behavioral approach. The behavioral inhibition system (BIS) is the biopsychological system responsible for influencing an individual to withdraw from novel stimuli or situations. Based on prior work, it was expected that fear negatively, and approach positively associated with language. It also was expected that intrusive/insensitive parenting would be negatively related with child language. Although exploratory in nature, it was tentatively anticipated that stronger relations between intrusive/insensitive parenting and language would be observed for children high in fear, and high in approach (i.e., that intrusive/insensitive parenting would inhibit language in high approach children).



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Suggested Citation

Richier, C. J., Dawson, M., Savoree, S., Miller, M., Koukoui, K., & Bridgett, D. J. (under review). Behavioral approach and fear moderates the relationship between insensitive and intrusive parenting on early language development.