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Early Childhood

"Language Delays and Child Depressive Symptoms: The Role of Early Stimulation in the Home"

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Stimulating young children's early-language skills can not only boost their readiness for kindergarten, but potentially protect them from later depression, finds a new study in Prevention Science.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and John Hopkins University tracked nearly 600 children at high-risk of academic failure in Hawaii from age 3 to 3rd grade. They found 3-year-olds with low exposure to language—be it through preschool, adult conversations, or reading and using media with family—were significantly more likely to show language delays in 1st grade and three times as likely to show depressive symptoms in 3rd grade, than those with more language exposure.

Researchers suggested a less-enriching home environment, coupled with more academic challenges in school, could contribute to the students' risk of depression.

Vol. 36, Issue 04, Page 5

Published in Print: September 14, 2016, as Early Childhood
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