Early home activities and oral language skills in middle childhood: A quantile analysis
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Law, J., Rush, R., King, T., Westrupp, E. & Reilly, S. (2017) Early home activities and oral language skills in middle childhood: A quantile analysis. Child Development, 89(1), pp. 295-309.
Oral language development is a key outcome of elementary school, and it is important to identify factors that predict it most effectively. Commonly researchers use ordinary least squares regression with conclusions restricted to average performance conditional on relevant covariates. Quantile regression offers a more sophisticated alternative. Using data of 17,687 children from the United Kingdom's Millennium Cohort Study, we compared ordinary least squares and quantile models with language development (verbal similarities) at 11 years as the outcome. Gender had more of an effect at the top of the distribution, whereas poverty, early language, and reading to the child had a greater effect at the bottom. The picture for TV watching was more mixed. The results are discussed in terms of the provision of universal and targeted interventions.