A new study published online in Pediatrics documents differences in verbal interactions by parents and infants of different genders in the first months of life. The study found mothers were the primary responders to their infants’ verbal cues and provided more communication than fathers. In addition, the study found that mothers may respond preferentially to infant girls. The study underscores the importance of “informing both mothers and fathers about the benefits of parent talk and a rich language environment on their infant’s language development and later academic success.”
Gender Differences in Adult-Infant Communication in the First Months of Life examined parent-infant communication in a prospective cohort study of 33 late preterm and term infants from birth through age seven months.