The HOME, representing parental stimulation provides an example o

The HOME, representing parental stimulation provides an example of a process factor, and SES, a more general measure, would be considered a status factor. Although

spontaneous and elicited play were both associated with process (HOME) and status (SES) factors, elicited play was more strongly associated with the process measure. When compared with spontaneous play, elicited play was more strongly related to three of the HOME subscales, parental responsivity, play materials, and parental involvement, suggesting that attention to providing age-appropriate play materials and responsiveness to the infant’s initiations and needs plays a particularly important role in the early development

of competence in symbolic play. It was also of interest that, in contrast to the direct measures of quality of intellectual stimulation provided by the HOME, other maternal characteristics, including nonverbal intellectual competence and life stress, had little apparent impact on the early development of symbolic play. Bradley et al. (1989) examined the relation between the environment and infant development in six North American cohorts using measures that included SES, ethnic group, maternal education, and the HOME. The mean HOME scores at 12 months of age ranged from 27.9 to 36.5, with a total sample mean of 32.5. The mean of 30.9 for the Detroit sample was only slightly lower than in Palbociclib PAK5 the other U.S. cohorts, but the mean of 26.5 in our Cape Town sample was substantially lower. Thus, the infants in Cape Town appear to have been exposed to markedly less optimal parenting on average than that experienced in the economically disadvantaged U.S. samples, although there was a wide range of scores. Despite the difference,

the subtests of the HOME most closely related to infant development in the U.S. studies, parental responsivity, play materials, parental involvement, and variety were the same as those found to be conducive to elicited play development in Cape Town. These data are consistent with Richter and Grieve’s (1991) emphasis on the importance for cognitive development of the caregiver’s active structuring of the infant’s experience in the context of African poverty. Our previously reported Detroit finding that infant symbolic play is predictive of early school-age verbal IQ (Jacobson et al., 1996) suggests that this form of play is an important precursor of language development. In the Cape Town cohort, elicited play predicted better verbal working memory performance on the Digit Span task at 5 years and its relation to verbal IQ fell short of statistical significance. Moreover, children subsequently diagnosed with FAS/PFAS diagnosis performed significantly more poorly on elicited play than the abstainers/light drinkers.

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