Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-11-2019

Document Type



Loberg, E. (2019). The relationship between parental play behaviors and language outcomes in preschool-age children at-risk for later-school readiness: A correlational analysis. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Emma Loberg 2019.


The researcher sought to answer the question “does quality of specific parenting behaviors explain variation in children’s language production skills one year later?” The sample for this study consisted of 30 parents and their preschool children; all children were enrolled in state-funded preschools or Head Start. Measures of six parenting behaviors and one dyadic behavior were derived from parent-child play interactions in the Fall of the child’s first year of preschool; these were examined in relation to children’s language outcomes from the Fall of their first (Time-1) and second (Time-2) years of preschool. Results indicate a moderate, positive correlation between the children’s MLU at Time-1 and the parents’ Cognitive Stimulation at Time-1 and a moderate, negative correlation between the children’s MLU at Time-2 and the parent’s Intrusiveness at Time-1. All other correlations were low-or-moderate, and no statistically-significant relationships were found. Results are consistent with earlier research, which establishes the importance of cognitive stimulation for children’s language and cognitive development and allowing children ample time and opportunity to communicate.