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Child Maltreatment: Effects on Grammatical and Lexical Aspects of Language Acquisition (pp.205-224) $100.00
Authors:  (Inge-Marie Eigsti, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)*
Clinicians, educators, and researchers of child development have long known that
child maltreatment leads to language delays and deficits. Empirical studies have
documented some striking differences in how maltreating parents interact with their
children. Given that caregiver input plays a central role in language acquisition, one
might expect there to be a relationship between specific qualities of parental input, and
specific language impairments, in maltreating dyads. However, few controlled studies of
language acquisition in maltreated individuals have been carried out; of those studies,
most have used gross qualitative rather than specific quantitative measures of language
ability. This chapter reviews the literature on language abilities in maltreated children
across development, with a particular focus on vocabulary (lexical) skills and
grammatical development, where the impact of maltreatment has been shown to be
greatest; we report in detail an empirical investigation of syntactic complexity in
maltreated children at age five. Drawing on both the specific findings and the literature
reviewed, we discuss possible mechanisms that may link differences in parent-child
interactions in maltreatment to language delays. 

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Child Maltreatment: Effects on Grammatical and Lexical Aspects of Language Acquisition (pp.205-224)