10. Thompson, T., & Tarver, T. (2011). Language and cognitive performance of infants and toddlers: A case for early infant reading and written language enrichment. Houston, TX.
11. Thompson, T., Tarver, T., & Woods, A. (2011a). A case for early infant reading and written language enrichment: The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Houston, TX.
Dr. Thompson was the lead scientist for several studies that used Your Baby Can Read (YBCR). She states in her preface, Your Baby Can (YBC) funded the studies, but she was in control over all aspects of the study and manuscripts. Two groups were compared on a variety of language and cognition tests. The YBCR Group had used YBCR for about an hour a day for at least 7 months. The Control Group had not used YBCR, but they were matched for socio-economic status. Each child was administered the following norm-referenced tests designed to test the language and cognitive abilities of infants and toddlers:
- Language Scales of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (3rd edition Bayley-III)
- Cognitive Scale of the Bayley-III
- The Preschool Language Scale – 4th edition (PLS-4)
72 babies were tested between the ages of 10 months and 23 months, with the mean age of 17.26 months. The babies were tested on standardized (criterion-referenced) tests that also have normative data. This allows us to compare the babies who consistently used YBCR with a very large population and classify their performance based on what is typical of babies of the same ages. In addition, the Your Baby Can Read group was compared to a Control Group that was matched for socio-economic factors. This was done to ensure that any differences that might be found were not simply from differences related to their backgrounds.
The YBCR Group babies had significantly higher scores than a same-socio-economic status Control Group on the following standardized tests:
- receptive language
- expressive language
- overall language
- overall cognition
Researchers used this classification system to rank test scores: Extremely Low (69 and below), Borderline (70-79), Low Average (80-89), Average (90-109), High Average (110-119), Superior (120-129), and Very Superior (130 and higher). On the overall language test, the Control Group’s mean score (M=100) fell within the “average” range. The YBCR Group’s mean score (M=120.03) fell within the “superior” range. The YBCR babies out-performed their peers on every standardized test.
The differences between the groups were very large even though the babies in the Control Group were matched for socio-economic status. For example – even on the overall cognitive tests (measuring concept formation, memory, problem solving, object relatedness and other general thinking abilities), 55% of the babies from the YBCR group scored in the high average (19%), superior (23%), or very superior range (13%) on the overall cognitive testing while 3% of babies in same-socio-economic status control group scored in the high average group and 0% scored in the superior or very superior range. In the control group, 3% scored in the “extremely low” range, 13%, in the “borderline” range, 31% in the “low average” range, and 50% in the “average” range. None of the YBCR babies scored in the “extremely low,” “borderline,” or “low average” ranges and 45% scored in the “average” range.
On the PSL-4 overall language test that has normative data, the babies who consistently used YBCR for at least 7 months only about 15% ended up in the “average” range. The other 85% of babies who used YBCR were in the “high average” (36.4%), “superior” (33.3%), or “very superior” (15.2%) ranges. On the same test, a same-socio-economic status control group had 76% in the “average” range with 12% of babies in the “low average” range and 9% in the “high average” range and 3% in and the “superior” range. None of the control group babies were in the “very superior” range.
The results clearly show that using the YBCR program was associated with superior scores on actual standardized tests related to language and cognition.