study descriptionWithin-family sibling comparison design.
core topic(s)Shared Reading
Exposures, Outcomes, OtherBrain/Neurocognitive , Child Behaviors and Skills , Child Development (general) , Language and Literacy Development , Parent Behaviors and Skills , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions
metric(s)MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (MB-CDI)
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)
objectivesThis study explored whether early maternal input during shared reading predicted later theory of mind (ToM) understanding through children's receptive language and executive function (EF).
exposureMaternal input during shared reading
outcomes evaluatedTheory of Mind, receptive language, and executive function.
settingFamilies were recruited through the Healthy Babies Healthy Children public health program in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, between April 2006 and September 2007.
methodsThe sample included 656 children clustered within 328 ethnically and sociodemographically diverse families. The shared reading sessions occurred when the younger and older siblings were 1.5 and 4 years old, respectively. Receptive language, EF, and ToM were measured when the siblings were approximately 5 years old to account for age differences. Multilevel modeling using Bayesian estimation was used to account for the effect of family-wide confounds (i.e., shared between the siblings in the family) while isolating child-specific processes (i.e., unique to each child within the family).
sample sizen=656 (children); n=328 (families)
Measure of Maternal Input During Shared Reading: Mothers were rated on their ability to both provide and ask for information on different linguistic aspects during a videotaped shared reading activity coded using an adapted version of the Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR):
- language development (e.g., labeling or definitions).
- abstract thinking (e.g., making inferences).
- elaborations (e.g., making connections to real life or imitations).
Measure of Child Language Ability: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT).
Measure of Child Executive Function (EF): Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS).
Measure of Child Theory of Mind (TOM): adaptation of the Wellman and Liu (2004) tasks that assessed children’s understanding of diverse desires, diverse beliefs, knowledge access, content and explicit false belief, belief-based emotion, real–apparent emotion, and second-order belief.
Measure of Child and Family Covariates: Early language was measured by the PPVT for the older siblings and by the MacArthur Communicative Developmental Inventories–Short Form (CDI) and parents answered sociodemographic questions about child variables and family characteristics.