The Impact of Book-Sharing on Infant Language and Cognitive Development: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Children s cognitive development, literacy, and educational outcomes are influenced by the quality of the family environment. Early intervention programs that promote positive parenting behaviors and child cognition has great potential to positively influence children s school readiness and thereby support social equality. In the current project, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a book-sharing intervention for caregivers and their 10-month-old children. The intervention is conducted over eight weeks and is designed to stimulate parent-child interactions and child cognition. It involves teaching interactive scaffolding techniques for caregivers to apply during book-sharing with their child. Participating parent-infant dyads (n = 144) will be randomized to a training group or an active control group. Data will be collected at baseline, post-intervention and at two follow-ups when the infant participants are 18 and 36 months of age. The current project will uniquely contribute by evaluating the effectiveness of a book-sharing intervention with infant participants and by holding the potential to demonstrate cognitive and neural mechanisms that are involved in language acquisition. By including long-term follow-ups, we will be able to clarify the durability of the intervention effects and whether they transfer to later developing cognitive and language skills that are critical for subsequent academic progress.