Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


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Published in Child Development 77:4 (July/August 2006), pp. 924–953. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00911.x Copyright © 2006 Society for Research in Child Development. Published by Blackwell Publishing. Used by permission.


About half of 2,581 low-income mothers reported reading daily to their children. At 14 months, the odds of reading daily increased by the child being fi rstborn or female. At 24 and 36 months, these odds increased by maternal verbal ability or education and by the child being fi rstborn or of Early Head Start status. White mothers read more than did Hispanic or African American mothers. For English-speaking children, concurrent reading was associated with vocabulary and comprehension at 14 months, and with vocabulary and cognitive development at 24 months. A pattern of daily reading over the 3 data points for English-speaking children and daily reading at any 1 data point for Spanish-speaking children predicted children’s language and cognition at 36 months. Path analyses suggest reciprocal and snowballing relations between maternal bookreading and children’s vocabulary.