Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Hruby, AR. 2023. The Effects of Parental Responsivity, Sensitivity, and Stimulation of Cognitive Development on Semantic Development in Preschoolers. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Amy Hruby 2023.


The present study examined the effects of parental sensitivity and stimulation of cognitive development on preschool language development. 28 children (15 male), 24 fathers, and 25 mothers attended two lab visits in which the children were video-recorded in 15-minute free-play interactions with either parent. Parent sensitivity/responsivity and stimulation of cognitive development were coded using a coding system adapted from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care (Network, 2000). Child language transcripts were extracted from the video recordings and entered into Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts software (SALT Software, LLC, 2020) for child mean length of utterance (MLU) and type-token ratio (TTR) as measures for language development. Results indicate parent sensitivity and stimulation of cognitive development are positively correlated, and child mean length of utterance scores and type-token ratio scores are negatively correlated. More research is needed to better understand the mechanisms by which parents and other members of children’s social networks impact child language development.