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The link between language and socioemotional development

The link between language and socioemotional development

On demand

Duration: 56 minutes

“When you talk to somebody, you’re saying ‘you’re important, you matter, I notice you, I want to connect with you.’” — Libby Doggett, PhD, Advocate and Strategic Change Leader for Early Learning

Many previous studies have drawn connections between the quantity of back-and-forth interactions in early childhood and later linguistic and cognitive skills. Importantly, newly published research conducted in Chile has taken a novel direction, determining that infants’ language environments predict their socioemotional skills one year later. The paper, published in the April 2021 issue of Developmental Science, is called "Language and socioemotional development in early childhood: The role of conversational turns." Read more about the study on our blog.

As we continue to process the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this research supports the idea that a focused emphasis on early language will benefit not only children’s cognitive development, but their overall well-being. The paper's first author, Esteban Gómez Muzzio, PhD, joined us for an exploration of the methodology and findings, as well as his interpretation of the results and plans for future research. 



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About Esteban Gómez Muzzio, PhD

Esteban Gómez Muzzio, Ph.D., M.Sc., is a psychologist and the co-founder and executive director of Fundación América por la Infancia, an NGO devoted to promoting a paradigm shift from child maltreatment to respectful and sensitive parenting and care in Latin American countries. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and delivered over 100 conference presentations and master classes in topics such as attachment theory, parenting, socioemotional development, trauma, and human resilience. He is the author of the ODISEA model of parenting intervention, including such instruments of evaluation as the E2P scale, video feedback, and parent therapy. He is a regular public policy consultant for Latin America governments and was the study director of the Chilean National Council of Infancy. Through his NGO, he has taught more than 10,000 professionals from 20 countries all over the world.

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Be sure to read the blog post about the study, too!