Special Issue "The First 1000 Days of Life: Investigating Early Markers for Promoting Healthy Language Development"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maja Roch
Website1 Website2
Leading Guest Editor
Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, Università degli Studi di Padova, 35122 Padua, Italy
Interests: language and cognition in populations with atypical development; linguistic processes in bilingualism; development of training for the enhancement of language and narrative skills in preschool years (typical and atypical development); analysis of language skills in children from families with low SES
Prof. Dr. Alessandra Sansavini
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Interests: typical and atypical development of communication, language, cognitive, motor and academic skills; preterm birth; caregiver–infant interaction; early markers of language delay; infancy; childhood
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Prof. Dr. Viola Macchi Cassia
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Bicocca Child&Baby Lab, 20122 Milano, Italy
Interests: interactions between biological constraints and perceptual experience in the development of neurocognitive specialization; infant cognition; early precursors for cognitive development; cultural influence on infant cognitive development; development and plasticity of face processing biases; developmental origins of spatial biases in mental representation; implicit learning skills and serial order processing in infancy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The first 1000 days of life are recognized as a time of tremendous potential and enormous vulnerability, as the brain is developing rapidly. The basic skills that children develop during early infancy predict success in the later development of complex, high level abilities such as language, reading and writing, and social skills. Any difficulty or shortcut during this early stage of life have significant cascading effects on the child’s future proficiency in all these abilities.

Language acquisition is one aspect of development for which the first 1000 days are most critical. Language development is a multifactorial process influenced by numerous genetic and environmental factors. Wide interindividual differences exist in the way and rate at which children acquire language, and many neurodevelopmental disorders include impairments in language and communication skills. Therefore, a solid understanding of early markers of atypical language development across the first 2 years of life becomes crucial for early prevention and intervention.

The scope of the current Special Issue is to bring together scholars and experts in the field of typical and atypical linguistic development to provide a clearer picture of the crucial factors predicting language development, and to inform practitioners on how to support language acquisition in the earlier stages of development. Broadly, this Special Issue is seeking original submissions that examine the role of different factors related to typical and atypical linguistic development, which may include, but are not limited to, SES, preterm birth, multilingual contexts, educational poverty, familial risk condition, motor development, cognitive development and linguistic input.

Dr. Maja Roch
Prof. Dr. Alessandra Sansavini
Prof. Dr. Viola Macchi Cassia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • first thousand days
  • language development
  • early markers
  • motor development
  • cognitive development
  • SES
  • educational poverty
  • developmental language disorder
  • bilingualism
  • preterm birth
  • genetic risk

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Home Language Activities and Expressive Vocabulary of Toddlers From Low-SES Monolingual families and Bilingual Immigrant Families
Authors: Elena Florit; Chiara Barachetti; Marinella Majorano; Manuela Lavelli
Affiliation: Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona, Via S. Francesco 22, 37129 Verona, Italy

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