Differences in the Nonword Repetition Performance of Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment: A Meta-Analysis PurposeThis study presents a meta-analysis of the difference in nonword repetition performance between children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The authors investigated variability in the effect sizes (i.e., the magnitude of the difference between children with and without SLI) across studies and its relation to several factors: type ... Article/Report
Article/Report  |   February 2007
Differences in the Nonword Repetition Performance of Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment: A Meta-Analysis
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Katharine Graf Estes, Department of Psychology, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280. E-mail: kmgraf@wisc.edu.
  • Nicole M. Else-Quest is now at Villanova University, Villanova, PA.
    Nicole M. Else-Quest is now at Villanova University, Villanova, PA.×
  • © 2007 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article/Report   |   February 2007
Differences in the Nonword Repetition Performance of Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment: A Meta-Analysis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2007, Vol. 50, 177-195. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/015)
History: Received June 30, 2005 , Revised December 7, 2005 , Accepted May 24, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2007, Vol. 50, 177-195. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/015)
History: Received June 30, 2005; Revised December 7, 2005; Accepted May 24, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 105
Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by Research Grant R01 DC005650 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to Julia Evans and by Grant F31 DC07277 from NIDCD to Katharine Graf Estes. We would like to thank Jeffry Coady and Janet Hyde for their helpful comments and Lisbeth Simon, Kristin Ryan, and Rebecca Porwoll for their assistance gathering data. We would also like to thank James Montgomery, Benjamin Munson, Shelley Gray, and Jeffry Coady for graciously providing additional unpublished findings to include in the analysis. A previous version of these findings was presented as a poster at the June 2004 Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI.

PurposeThis study presents a meta-analysis of the difference in nonword repetition performance between children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The authors investigated variability in the effect sizes (i.e., the magnitude of the difference between children with and without SLI) across studies and its relation to several factors: type of nonword repetition task, age of SLI sample, and nonword length.

MethodThe authors searched computerized databases and reference sections and requested unpublished data to find reports of nonword repetition tasks comparing children with and without SLI.

ResultsChildren with SLI exhibited very large impairments in nonword repetition, performing an average (across 23 studies) of 1.27 standard deviations below children without SLI. A moderator analysis revealed that different versions of the nonword repetition task yielded significantly different effect sizes, indicating that the measures are not interchangeable. The second moderator analysis found no association between effect size and the age of children with SLI. Finally, an exploratory meta-analysis found that children with SLI displayed difficulty repeating even short nonwords, with greater difficulty for long nonwords.

ConclusionsThese findings have potential to affect how nonword repetition tasks are used and interpreted, and suggest several directions for future research.

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