The interaction of early maternal responsiveness and children's cognitive abilities on later decoding and reading comprehension skills

Heather B. Taylor, Jason L. Anthony, Rachel Aghara, Karen E. Smith, Susan H. Landry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study evaluated the extent to which maternal responsiveness across early childhood and children's cognitive skills predicted children's 8-year decoding and reading comprehension skills for children who varied in biological risk (term, n = 83; preterm, n = 155). Patterns of maternal responsiveness during infancy (6, 12, and 24 months) and preschool (3 and 4 years) revealed 4 maternal clusters that varied in consistency and level of maternal responsiveness. Although not predictive of decoding skills, the interaction between children's 4-year cognitive ability and maternal responsiveness cluster predicted children's reading comprehension skills at 8 years of age, regardless of risk. Although consistently high levels of maternal responsive parenting across early childhood related to literacy outcomes for all children in the study, responsive parenting had a stronger relation to later reading comprehension skills for children with lower cognitive abilities, particularly when mothers demonstrated high responsiveness in children's infancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-207
Number of pages20
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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