Noel, M., Peterson, C., & Jesso, B. (in press). The relationship of parenting stress and child temperament to language development among economically disadvantaged preschoolers. Journal of Child Language.

Oral language skills in the preschool years are predictive of children's later reading success and literacy acquisition, and among these language skills, vocabulary and narrative ability play important roles. Children from low socioeconomic families face risks to their language development and because of threats to these skills it is important to identify factors that promote their development among high-risk groups. This preliminary study explored two potential factors that may be related to language skills in 56 low SES mother-child dyads (32-58 months), namely child temperament and parenting stress. Results showed that child temperament and parenting stress were related to children's oral language skills. Child temperament characteristics that would likely aid social interaction were related to narrative ability and children rated high on emotionality had poorer receptive vocabulary skills. Parenting stress was related to children's receptive and expressive vocabulary skills. Results are interpreted in terms of the possible mediating role of parent-child interactions in children's oral language skill development, and future directions for family intervention are discussed.