Parent education to improve early language development: A preliminary evaluation of LENA StartTM

Marianne Elmquist, Lizbeth H. Finestack, Amanda Kriese, Erin M. Lease, Scott R. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Parents play an important role in creating home language environments that promote language development. A nonequivalent group design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based implementation of LENA Start™, a parent-training program aimed at increasing the quantity of adult words (AWC) and conversational turns (CT). Parent-child dyads participated in LENA Start™ (n = 39) or a generic parent education program (n = 17). Overall, attendance and engagement in the LENA StartTM program were high: 72% of participants met criteria to graduate from the program. Within-subject gains were positive for LENA Start™ families. Comparison families declined on these measures. However, both effects were non-significant. Between-group analyses revealed small to medium-sized effects favoring LENA Start™ and these were significant for child vocalizations (CV) and CT but not AWC. These results provide preliminary evidence that programs like LENA StartTM can be embedded in community-based settings to promote quality parent-child language interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of child language
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • LENA
  • language development
  • parent education

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