American and Israeli toddler–caregiver dyads (mean age of toddler = 26 months) were presented with naturalistic tasks in which they must watch a short video (N = 97) or concoct a visual story together (N = 66). English-speaking American caregivers were more likely to use left to right spatial structuring than right to left, especially for well-ordered letters and numbers. Hebrew-speaking Israeli parents were more likely than Americans to use right to left spatial structuring, especially for letters. When constructing a pictorial narrative for their children, Americans were more likely to place pictures from left to right than Israelis. These spatial structure biases exhibited by caregivers are a potential route for the development of spatial biases in early childhood, before children have developed automatic reading and writing habits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology