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Canadian Press, et al. - Study finds small language gaps in children adopted from abroad

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Published: 30 May 2011

A new study suggests babies adopted from abroad may not be able to master language to the same level as Canadian-born babies.

A new study suggests babies adopted from abroad may not be able to master language to the same level as Canadian-born babies. The study followed adopted Chinese-born babies and found that when they are compared against Canadian-born peers from similar households, the adopted children fared worse in language development.

In different tests, between one-third and half of the adopted children had slightly more trouble expressing themselves, and about one-quarter had a bit more trouble understanding language than their Canadian-born peers.

"They are not huge differences, but they are statistically reliable differences," said Fred Genesee, the study's director. The psychology professor at McGill University conducted the study along with his doctoral student Karine Gauthier and their findings appear in this month's issue of the journal Child Development.

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