Article/Report  |   February 2006
Correlates of Phonological Awareness in Preschoolers With Speech Sound Disorders
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Susan Rvachew, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University, 1266 Pine Avenue West, Montréal, Québec H3G 1A8, Canada. Email: susan.rvachew@mcgill.ca
  • © 2006 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article/Report   |   February 2006
Correlates of Phonological Awareness in Preschoolers With Speech Sound Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 74-87. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/006)
History: Received December 7, 2004 , Revised March 16, 2005 , Accepted June 9, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 74-87. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/006)
History: Received December 7, 2004; Revised March 16, 2005; Accepted June 9, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 41

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among variables that may contribute to poor phonological awareness (PA) skills in preschool-aged children with speech sound disorders (SSD).

Method: Ninety-five 4- and 5-year-old children with SSD were assessed during the spring of their prekindergarten year. Linear structural equation modeling was used to compare the fit of 2 models of the possible relationships among PA, speech perception, articulation, receptive vocabulary, and emergent literacy skills.

Results: Half the children had significant difficulty with speech perception and PA despite demonstrating receptive language skills within or above the average range. The model that showed the best fit to the data indicated that speech perception is a pivotal variable that has a direct effect on PA and an indirect effect that is mediated by vocabulary skills. Articulation accuracy did not have a direct impact on PA. Emergent literacy skills were predicted by PA abilities.

Conclusions: Children with SSD are at greatest risk of delayed PA skills if they have poor speech perception abilities and/or relatively poor receptive vocabulary skills. Children with SSD should receive assessments of their speech perception, receptive vocabulary, PA, and emergent literacy skills.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by funding from the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. We are grateful to the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for helping us to recruit children and for providing us with the space and resources required to conduct the assessments. Many clinicians and students have been involved in this project, some of whom are acknowledged here: Dr. Robin Gaines, Jill Newman, Genevieve Cloutier, Natalia Evans, Joan Heyding, Debbie Hughes, Alyssa Ohberg, Rishanthi Sivakumaran, and Jessica Whitley. Finally, we thank the children and their parents for their participation in and support of this project.
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