Professor Edith L.

Professor Edith L. Bavin



College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Psychology and Counselling

Biological Sciences 2, room 166, Melbourne (Bundoora)


Teaching Dip (3 year) London, B Ed. Calgary, MA, PhD Buffalo, NY



Membership of professional associations

Fellow Association for Psychological Science, International Association for the Study of Child language, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Area of study


Brief profile

Professor Bavin's early research was on the acquisition of Warlpiri, an indigenous language spoken in central Australia. More recently her research has been concerned with assessing young children's language knowledge and language processing skills. Of particular interest has been the topics of late talkers and the cognitive skills of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). This research has investigated visuo-spatial memory, verbal memory, attention, narrative skills and the numerical cognition of children with SLI. Other projects have investigated the memory and attention of children with SLI and ADHD and the auditory processing skills of 4-7 year olds.

A long-term research project on which Professor Bavin is a CI is the Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS), based at the Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Research Institute. The study is investigating the natural history of language and literacy development and language impairment in a longitudinal study with a sample of 1910 children (from 8 months to 14 years).  Another research project is the language processing of children with autism, and for this research using eye tracking has been used.

An ARC Linkage grant is currently supporting research on the language and cognitive development of young children with cochlear implants. In this project, which Professor Bavin is running across four states, infants have been recruited prior to implantation and have been followed up for 3-4 years.

Professor Bavin served as the editor of the Journal of Child Language until 2012 and is currently on the Editorial Board for the journal. She edited the Cambridge Handbook of Child Language, published in 2009 and a new, more comprehensive edition which appeared in 2015. The later included a section on literacy development and chapters on new topics not included in the earlier edition. She co-edited a book 'The Acquisition of Ergativity' following collaborative work at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig.

Research interests

Cognitive and developmental psychology

- Language and language impairment; child language acquisition and factors that influence it

Teaching units




Parenting Research Centre, The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children.

Recent publications

McKean, Cristina; Reilly, Sheena, Bavin, Edith L.,Bretherton, Lesley, Cini, Eileen, Conway, Laura, Cook, Fallon, Eadie, Prior, Margot, Wake, Melissa, Mensah, Fiona (2016). Language outcomes at 7 years: early predictors and co-occurring difficulties, Pediatrics, November 2016.

Bavin, E.L. & Baker, E. (2016). Using eye movements to investigate factors that influence lexical processing in young children with high functioning autism). In. L. Naigles (Ed.) Innovative Investigations of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder (Language and Human Lifespan series), 35-47. American Psychological Association & Walter de Gruyter.

Nd, Le, Ha, Gold, Lisa, Mensah, Fiona, Eadie, Patricia, Bavin, Edith L., Bretherton, Lesley, Reilly, Sheena (2016). Service utilization and costs of language impairment in children: The Early Language in Victoria Australian population-based study. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, accepted 23 May, 2016.

Mungkhetklang, C., Crewther, S.G., Bavin, E.L. Nahal Goharpey, Parsons, C. (2016). Comparison of Measures of Ability in Adolescents with Intellectual Disability. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg2016.00683

Brignell, A., Williams, K., Prior, M., Donath, S., Reilly, S. Bavin, E.L., Eadie, P. & Morgan, A. (2016). Parent-reported patterns of loss and gain in communication in 1- to 2-year-old children are not unique to autism spectrum disorder. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, , published on-line, 13 May 2016. DOI: 10.1177/1362361316644729

Bavin, Edith L., Kidd, E., Prendergast, Luke A., Baker, Emma K. (2016). Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information during On-line Sentence Processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 171. Published online 2016, February 19. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00171

Bavin, E.L. (2015). Memory profiles of children with SLI. In S.Stavrakaki (Ed.) Specific Language Impairment (Language Acquisition and Language Disorders series), 125-144. Amstredam: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Bavin, E.L. & Naigles, L. (Eds.) (2015). The Cambridge Handbook of Child Language. Cambridge University Press. (2nd ed.-substantially revised and extended with a new section on literacy).

Serry, Tanya. Castles, Anne, Mensah, Fiona, Bavin, Edith L. Eadie, Patricia, Pezic, Angela, Prior, Margot, Bretherton, Lesley and Reilly, Sheena. (2015). Developing a comprehensive model of risk and protective factors that can predict spelling at age seven: findings from a community sample of Victorian children.  Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 20 (1), 1–19.

McKean, Cristina, Mensa, Fiona, K. Eadie, Patricia, Bavin, Edith L., Bretherton, Lesley, Cini, Eilleen, Reilly, Sheena (2015). Levers for Language Growth: Characteristics and Predictors of Language Trajectories between 4 and 7 Years. PLoS ONE, August, 4, 2015, Vol.10 (8).

Bavin, E.L., Prendergast, L., Kidd, E., Baker, E, & Dissanayake, C. (2015). Online processing of sentences containing noun modification in young children with high functioning autism. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, Article first published online: 27 Jul 2015, DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12191 Published in print: March 2016, Vol.51(2), pp.137-47.

Elhassan, Z., Crewther, S., Bavin, E.L., Crewther, D. (2015). Preliminary validation of FastaReada as a measure of reading fluency, Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

Bavin, E.L., Kidd, E., Prendergast, L., Baker, E., Dissanayake, C., Prior, M. (2014) Severity of autism is related to children's language processing. Autism Research, 6, 687-694 Bavin, E.L. (2014). Gestures in Communicative Development. In Patricia Brooks and Vera Kempe (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Language Development (248-252). Sage Publications [Published 22 Apr -784 pages. ISBN 1483346439, 9781483346434]

Veness, C., Prior, M., Eadie, P., Bavin, E., Reilly, S. (2014). Predicting autism diagnosis by 7 years of age using parent report of infant social communication skills. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50, 693-700.

Eadie, P., Nguyen, C., Carlin, J., Bavin, E., Bretherton, L., Reilly, S. (2014). Stability of language performance at 4 and 5 years: Measurement and participant variability. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49 (2), 215–227 (DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12065).

Bretherton, L., Prior, M. Bavin, E.L, Cini, E., Eadie. P., Reilly, S. (2014). Developing relationships between language and behaviour in preschool children from the Early Language in Victoria Study: implications for intervention. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 19 (1), 7-27.

Reilly,S., Onslow, M., Packman, A., Cini, E., Conway,L.,Ukoumunne, O.C., Bavin, E.L., Prior, M., Eadie, P., Block, S, Wake, M. (2013). Natural History of Stuttering to 4 Years of Age: A Prospective Community-Based Study. Pediatrics, 132 (3), 460-467.

Bavin, E.L. & Bretherton, L. (2013). The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS): Late Talkers, Predictors and Outcomes. In. L, Rescorla & P. Dale (Eds.) Late Talkers: From Research to Practice. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Bavin, E.L. (2013). The acquisition of ergativity in Warlpiri. In E. L. Bavin & S. Stoll (Eds). The Acquisition of ergativity, John Benjamins Publishing Co.

E.L. Bavin, & S. Stoll (Eds.) (2013). The acquisition of ergativity. John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Castles, A., McLean, G.M.T., Bavin, E. L., Bretherton, L., Carlin, J., Prior, M., Ukoumunne, O., Wake, M., & Reilly, S. (2013). Computer use and letter knowledge in pre-school children: A population-based study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(3), 193-198. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12126

Petruccelli, N., Bavin, E.L., & Bretherton, L. (2012). Children with Specific Language Impairment and Resolved Late Talkers:  Working Memory Profiles at 5 years. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 55, 1690–1703.

Hutchinson, E., Bavin, E.L., Efron, D., & Sciberras, E. (2012). A comparison of working memory profiles in school-aged childre with SLI, ADHD, co-morbid SLI and ADHD and their typically developing peers. Child Neuropsychology, 18 (2), 190–207.

Ukoumunne, O. C., Wake, M., Carlin, J., Bavin, E.L., Lum, J., Skeat, J., Williams, J., Conway, L., Cini, E., Reilly, S. (2011). Profiles of language development in pre-school children: a longitudinal latent class analysis of data from the Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS). Child: Care, Health & Development, 38, 3, 341–349.

Veness, C., Prior, M., Bavin, E.L., & Eadie, P. Cini, E. Reilly, S. (2012). Early indicators of autism spectrum disorders at 12 and 24 months of age: A prospective, longitudinal study. Autism, 16,163-177.

Prior, M., Bavin, E., and Ong, B. (2011). Predictors of school readiness in five -to six -year old children from an Australian longitudinal community sample. Educational Psychology, 31, 1, 3-16.

Reilly, S., Wake, M, Ukoumunne, O. C., Bavin, E.L., Prior, M. Cini, E., Conway, L., Eadie, P., Bretherton, L. (published on line, 8 Nov. 2010). Predicting Language Outcomes at 4 Years: Findings from the Early Language in Victoria Study. Pediatrics.

Eadie, P., Ukoumunne, O. C., Skeat, J., Prior, M., Bavin, E., Bretherton, L., Reilly, S. (2010). Assessing early communication behaviours: Structure and validity of the Communication and Symbolic Behaviour Scales -Developmental Profile (CSBS-DP) in 12-month infants. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 45, 572-585.

Skeat, J., Wake, M., Reilly, S., Eadie, P., Bretherton, L., Bavin, E.L., & Ukoumunne, O. C. (2010). Predictors of early precocious talking: A prospective population study. Journal of Child Language, 37, 1109-1121.

Bavin, E.L., Grayden, D., Scott, K. & Stefanakis, T. (2010). The relationship between auditory processing and language in 4-5 year-olds. Language and Speech 53, 31-47. Bavin, E.L. (2009). Widening the field: The process of language acquisition. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 32, 449-450.

Reilly, S., Bavin, E.L., Bretherton, L., Conway, L., Eadie, P., Cini, E., Prior, M., Ukoumunne, O.C., & Wake, M. (2009). The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS): a prospective, longitudinal study of communication skills and expressive vocabulary development at 8, 12 and 24 months. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11, 344-357.

Reilly, S., Onslow, M., Packman, A., Wake, M., Bavin, E.L., Prior, M., Eadie, P., Cini, E., Bolzonello, C., & Ukoumunne, O.C. (2009). Predicting stuttering onset in children by the age of 3 years: a prospective, community cohort study. Pediatrics, 123, 270-277.  



Research projects

The language and cognitive development of young children with cochlear implants

The language processing of children with autism using eye tracking

The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS)