How Much Do Parents Think They Talk to Their Child?

Jeffrey A. Richards, Jill Gilkerson, Dongxin Xu, Keith Topping (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigated whether parent perceptions of their own and their child’s levels of talkativeness were related to objective measures recorded via the LENA system. Parents of 258 children aged 7-60 months completed a questionnaire on which they rated how much they and their child talked. Six months previously they had recorded in their home language environment using the LENA system. Compared to recording measures, parents tended to overestimate how much they talk to their child, but were somewhat closer when estimating their child’s talkativeness. Results were similar for a smaller sample with concurrent recordings, indicating that calibration of talk volubility is challenging without a reference standard. An important implication is that parents’ motivation to participate in language-focused interventions may be reduced. That is, parents who overestimate how much they talk to their child may also underestimate what they could do to enhance their child’s home language environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • parent
  • child
  • infant
  • language
  • percpetions
  • words
  • vocalizations
  • turns
  • LENA

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