Evaluating the Discriminant Accuracy of a Grammatical Measure With Spanish-Speaking Children Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the discriminant accuracy of a grammatical measure for the identification of language impairment in Latino Spanish-speaking children. The authors hypothesized that if exposure to and use of English as a second language have an effect on the first language, bilingual children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2006
Evaluating the Discriminant Accuracy of a Grammatical Measure With Spanish-Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Vera F. Gutiérrez-Clellen
    San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
  • M. Adelaida Restrepo
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Gabriela Simón-Cereijido
    San Diego State University
  • Contact author: Vera F. Gutiérrez-Clellen, School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-1518. E-mail: vclellen@mail.sdsu.edu.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2006
Evaluating the Discriminant Accuracy of a Grammatical Measure With Spanish-Speaking Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2006, Vol. 49, 1209-1223. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/087)
History: Received November 16, 2004 , Revised September 26, 2005 , Accepted March 15, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2006, Vol. 49, 1209-1223. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/087)
History: Received November 16, 2004; Revised September 26, 2005; Accepted March 15, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46

Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the discriminant accuracy of a grammatical measure for the identification of language impairment in Latino Spanish-speaking children. The authors hypothesized that if exposure to and use of English as a second language have an effect on the first language, bilingual children might exhibit lower rates of grammatical accuracy than their peers and be more likely to be misclassified.

Method Eighty children with typical language development and 80 with language impairment were sampled from 4 different geographical regions and compared using linear discriminant function analysis.

Results Results indicated fair-to-good sensitivity from 4;0 to 5;1 years, good sensitivity from 5;2 to 5;11 years, and poor sensitivity above age 6 years. The discriminant functions derived from the exploratory studies were able to predict group membership in confirmatory analyses with fair-to-excellent sensitivity up to age 6 years. Children who were bilingual did not show lower scores and were not more likely to be misclassified compared with their Spanish-only peers.

Conclusions The measure seems to be appropriate for identifying language impairment in either Spanish-dominant or Spanish-only speakers between 4 and 6 years of age. However, for older children, supplemental testing is necessary.

Acknowledgments
This project was partially supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 1-DC-8-2100 and by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences San Diego State University Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (Grant 5 R25 GM58906-06). We are grateful to Aquiles Iglesias, Elizabeth Peña, Lisa Bedore, Brian Goldstein, Janet Calderón, and Ellen Stubbe Kester for their invaluable assistance with many phases of the data collection. We would also like to extend our thanks to Darrell Sabers for his expert advice in test development and to Lorena Cataño for her help with data management and analysis.
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