How Does the Family Environment Affect Toddlerhood Language and Cognitive Development? Evidence from Peri-urban China

Research suggests that elements of the family environment may have significant associations with cognitive and language development outcomes. Less is known, however, about the family environment in peri-urban China, where rates of cognitive and language delay in children aged 0-3 years are as high as 51% and 54%, respectively. Using data collected from 81 peri-urban households with toddlers aged 18-24 months in Southwestern China, this study examines the associations between stimulating parenting practices, the home language environment, and parental self-efficacy, with cognitive and language development. The results indicate that stimulating parenting practices was significantly associated with cognitive development, the home language environment was significantly associated with language development, and parental self-efficacy was significantly associated with cognitive development. The implications of such findings reveal several mechanisms for supporting healthy cognitive and language development among toddlers from peri-urban China.