No AccessJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article14 Apr 2021

Positive Parenting Behaviors: Impact on the Early Vocabulary of Infants/Toddlers With Cochlear Implants


    To extend our knowledge about factors influencing early vocabulary development for infants with cochlear implants (CIs), we investigated the impact of positive parenting behaviors (PPBs) from the Indicator of Parent Child Interaction, used in parent–child interactions during everyday activities.


    Implantation age for the sample recruited from CI clinics in Australia ranged from 6 to 10 months for 22 children and from 11 to 21 months for 11 children. Three observation sessions at three monthly intervals were coded for use of PPBs. Children's productive vocabulary, based on the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories parent checklist, was collected approximately 6 and 9 months later. A repeated-measures negative binomial generalized linear mixed-effects model was used to investigate associations between the total PPBs per session, covariates (maternal education, gender, and time since implant), and the number of words produced. In follow-up analyses with the PPBs entered separately, variable selection was used to retain only those deemed informative, based on the Akaike information criterion.


    As early as Session 1, associations between the PPBs and vocabulary were identified. Time since implant had a positive effect. For different sessions, specific PPBs (descriptive language, follows child's lead, and acceptance and warmth) were identified as important contributors.


    Complementing previous findings, valuable information was identified about parenting behaviors that are likely to impact positively the early vocabulary of infants with CIs. Of importance is providing parents with information and training in skills that have the potential to help create optimal contexts for promoting their child's early vocabulary development.


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