British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 30 Issue 2 (June 2012), Pages 225-357

Differences between girls and boys in emerging language skills: Evidence from 10 language communities (pages 326-343)

  • Author(s): Mårten Eriksson, Peter B. Marschik, Tiia Tulviste, Margareta Almgren, Miguel Pérez Pereira, Sonja Wehberg, Ljubica Marjanovič‐Umek, Frederique Gayraud, Melita Kovacevic, Carlos Gallego
  • Published 01 Jun 2011
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02042.x

The present study explored gender differences in emerging language skills in 13,783 European children from 10 non‐English language communities. It was based on a synthesis of published data assessed with adapted versions of the MacArthur‐Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDIs) from age 0.08 to 2.06. The results showed that girls are slightly ahead of boys in early communicative gestures, in productive vocabulary, and in combining words. The difference increased with age. Boys were not found to be more variable than girls. Despite extensive variation in language skills between language communities, the difference between girls and boys remained. This suggests that the difference is caused by robust factors that do not change between language communities.

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