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Children with better vocabularies are more
likely to have future success in life. A new study conducted at Pennsylvania
State University, University of California–Irvine and Columbia University,
analyzed 8,650 children at the age of 2 and then again at the age of 5.
Children entering kindergarten with higher
levels of math and reading achievements were more likely to go to college, own
a home or get married. They were expected to live in higher-income
neighborhoods than children who were less prepared, particularly those with a
The study focused on academic and behavioral
achievements of the children. Kindergarten teachers rated their behavioral
self-regulation and any acting out of anxiety. Researchers also included a
range of background characteristics, such as sociodemographics and parenting
quality. They used the breadth of information to determine the role of
vocabulary growth on a child's possible future success.
When the children were again studied three years
later, researchers found that those who had a larger oral vocabulary when they
were younger were better prepared in their education.
"Our findings provide compelling evidence for
oral vocabulary's theorized importance as a multifaceted contributor to
children's early development," Paul Morgan, research leader and associate
professor of education at the Pennsylvania State University, told the Daily
The study also showed the influence parents have
on their children's education, even at such a young age.
"Our findings are also consistent with prior
work suggesting that parents who are stressed, overburdened, less engaged, and
who experience less social support may talk, read, or otherwise interact with
their children less frequently, resulting in their children acquiring smaller
oral vocabularies," George Farkas, co-author and professor of education at U.C. Irvine, told the Daily Mail.