Caregiver attention-focusing and children's attention-sharing behaviours as predictors of later verbal IQ in very low birthweight children

Chris L. Schmidt, Katharine R. Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Specific relationships between verbal and nonverbal aspects of caregiver attention-focusing events and later verbal IQ were investigated for a risk sample of 26 very low birthweight [VLBW], preterm [PT] children. Videotaped interactions between VLBW, PT children at 2;0 and their caregivers were coded for caregiver attention-focusing speech and/or caregiver attention-focusing gestures (display, demonstration and pointing), caregiver gesture-speech combinations, and for child attention-sharing through gesture and social gaze. To investigate the specific effects of caregiver and child interactional factors, analyses statistically controlled for cognitive status. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses found that overall caregiver attention-focusing involving gesture, child attention sharing behaviours, and cognitive status each significantly and uniquely contributed to verbal IQ at 3;0. Further analyses contrasted the contributions of caregiver gesture with relevant descriptive speech, caregiver gesture with no speech/nondescriptive speech, and caregiver pointing. Results of these analyses suggest that caregiver gesture with relevant descriptive speech makes a unique and positive contribution to later language performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 19 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)

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