The Starling Research Center

This collection of studies, articles, and books represents just some of the 30+ years of university research that influenced the creation of the Starling.

Impact of Adult Talk, Conversational Turns, and TV During the Critical 0-4 Years of Child Development

Jeffrey Richards & Jill Gilkerson

After collecting data on conversations between parents and their children, the LENA foundation concludes that the best thing a parent can do for their baby’s brain development is to talk with them. Using cutting edge technology and analytics, LENA’s report delivers the findings from their study and highlights the determining factors in a family’s daily word count.

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Fathers’ Early Contribution to Children’s Language Development in Families from Low-Income Rural Communities

Nadya Pancsofar & Lynne Vernon-Feagans

A father's language input when children are only six months old may be a key to understanding their child's language development when they are three years old. A father’s words may seem to matter more because, as typically the secondary caregiver, his children are less accustomed to his vocabulary, and the less familiar words may push the child to grow his language skills.

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Studying Learning in the Womb

Gina Kolata

This article recounts the results of a study showing that post-birth auditory preferences are influenced by what was heard prenatally. They measured sucking patterns on a nipple attached to a tape recorder, with one pattern resulting in hearing the mother's voice and any other resulting in another woman's voice. Most babies chose the pattern so as to hear their own moms.

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Adult-child discourse: Developmental interaction between information processing and linguistic knowledge

Lois Bloom, et. al.

This study analyzes discourse between adults and children to understand how children use the information from adults’ input sentences to form contingent responses. The results from longitudinal data of four children from approximately 21 to 36 months of age are discussed in terms of how the differential requirements for processing information is related to language learning.

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The Early Catastrophe – The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3

Todd Risely & Betty Hart

A shorter summary of the findings that Hart and Risley revealed in their book, this article discusses the importance of language development for children’s success. It describes the gaps between children’s vocabulary and development in different socioeconomic statuses.

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Influences of mother and child on maternal talkativeness

Erika Hoff-Ginsberg

This study examines mother-child interactions, and what influence each has on the content of the dialogue. Conversational quality is affected by the mother’s education level and the amount she spoke, but it was also highly correlated to how much the child participated in the dialogue.

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Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children

Todd Risely & Betty Hart

Meaningful Differences explores the verbal habits of parents of families in various socio-economic groups and how their behavior affects the academic performances of their children. Hart and Risley discover in this book the huge discrepancies in these behaviors and how the difference of over 30 million words will later put lower income children at a major disadvantage.

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