Prelinguistic Predictors of Language Outcome at 3 Years of Age Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive validity of a collection of prelinguistic skills measured longitudinally in the 2nd year of life to language outcome in the 3rd year in children with typical language development. Method A collection of prelinguistic skills was assessed in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2006
Prelinguistic Predictors of Language Outcome at 3 Years of Age
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nola Watt
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Amy Wetherby
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Stacy Shumway
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Contact author: Nola Watt, Department of Communication Disorders, FIRST WORDS Project, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-7814. E-mail: nola.watt@wits.ac.za.
Article Information
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2006
Prelinguistic Predictors of Language Outcome at 3 Years of Age
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2006, Vol. 49, 1224-1237. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/088)
History: Received August 1, 2005 , Revised December 16, 2005 , Accepted March 27, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2006, Vol. 49, 1224-1237. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/088)
History: Received August 1, 2005; Revised December 16, 2005; Accepted March 27, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 64

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive validity of a collection of prelinguistic skills measured longitudinally in the 2nd year of life to language outcome in the 3rd year in children with typical language development.

Method A collection of prelinguistic skills was assessed in 160 children early (M = 14.31 months; SD = 1.36) and late (M = 19.76 months; SD = 1.16) in their 2nd year by using the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Behavior Sample (A. Wetherby & B. Prizant, 2002). The relation between the prelinguistic skills and the receptive and expressive language near the 3rd birthday was examined.

Results Significant correlations were observed between many prelinguistic skills and language outcome. Regression analyses indicated that comprehension both early and late contributed unique variance to receptive and expressive language outcome. In addition, early in the 2nd year, inventory of conventional gestures contributed uniquely to receptive language outcome, and acts for joint attention contributed uniquely to expressive outcome. Late in the 2nd year, inventory of consonants contributed uniquely to expressive outcome.

Conclusions The findings demonstrate continuity between prelinguistic and linguistic skills and how individual differences in a number of prelinguistic skills contribute collectively and uniquely to language outcome in typically developing children.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (H324M980173), as well as by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (R305T010262). We thank the families who gave their time to participate in this project.
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