Attachment relationships as predictors of language skills for at-risk bilingual preschool children
Parental attachment and close teacher–child relationships offer a protective mechanism to promote language development among bilingual preschool children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Research has shown that language skills are an integral part of resilience for young children. This is the first study to examine parental acculturation, parent–child attachment, and teacher–child relationships as predictors of English and Spanish oral language skills. Participants consisted of 468 Hispanic American preschool children, aged 3 to 5 years, from low-income families of an urban public school district in the Northeast. Findings suggest that children’s relationships with parents and teachers significantly contribute to their bilingual language skills. Higher quality teacher–child relationships were associated with higher levels of language skills over and above quality parental attachments. The implications of the findings are discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.