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The Early Language in Victoria Study: predicting vocabulary at age one and two years from gesture and object use

  • E. L. BAVIN (a1), M. PRIOR (a2), S. REILLY (a3), L. BRETHERTON (a4), J. WILLIAMS (a5), P. EADIE (a6), Y. BARRETT (a7) and O. C. UKOUMUNNE (a8)...


The Macarthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI) have been used widely to document early communicative development. The paper reports on a large community sample of 1,447 children recruited from low, middle and high socioeconomic (SES) areas across metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the extent to which communicative behaviours reported at 0 ; 8 and 1 ; 0 predicted vocabulary development at 1 ; 0 and 2 ; 0. In support of previous findings with smaller, often less representative samples, gesture and object use at 1 ; 0 were better predictors of 2 ; 0 vocabulary than were gesture and object use at 0 ; 8. At 1 ; 0, children from the lower SES groups were reported to understand more words than children from the higher SES groups, but there were no SES differences for words produced at 1 ; 0 or 2 ; 0. The findings add to our understanding of the variability in the development of early communicative behaviours.


Corresponding author

Address for correpondence: Edith L. Bavin, School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9479 2530.


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The ELVS research was undertaken with a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). O. C. Ukoumunne's postdoctoral position is funded by an NHMRC Population Health Capacity Building Grant (436914).



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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
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