Estimating Familial Loading in SLI: A Comparison of Direct Assessment Versus Parental Interview Purpose Two approaches commonly used for estimating prevalence of language disorders in families were compared. The 1st involved examining a subset of language items from an investigator-based interview used to record parental information on the language and literacy difficulties in relatives. The 2nd was the direct assessment of ability in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2006
Estimating Familial Loading in SLI: A Comparison of Direct Assessment Versus Parental Interview
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
    The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Zoë Simkin
    The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Andrew Pickles
    The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: Gina Conti-Ramsden, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Manchester, Humanities Devas Street Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom. Email: gina.conti-ramsden@manchester.ac.uk
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2006
Estimating Familial Loading in SLI: A Comparison of Direct Assessment Versus Parental Interview
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 88-101. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/007)
History: Received October 21, 2004 , Revised March 17, 2005 , Accepted June 9, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 88-101. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/007)
History: Received October 21, 2004; Revised March 17, 2005; Accepted June 9, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

Purpose Two approaches commonly used for estimating prevalence of language disorders in families were compared. The 1st involved examining a subset of language items from an investigator-based interview used to record parental information on the language and literacy difficulties in relatives. The 2nd was the direct assessment of ability in immediate family using a battery of standardized verbal ability, language, and literacy assessments.

Method Using these 2 methods, the prevalence of language and literacy disorders was investigated in the immediate family (n = 271) of 93 children with a history of SLI (mean age 13;11 years).

Results The overall proportion of relatives with reported language or literacy difficulty was similar for both methods (34.5% for reported difficulties compared with 35% on direct assessment). The present study further explored maternal, paternal, and sibling prevalence rates and strength of agreement between parental interview and direct assessment. When a low cutoff score was used, good agreement (of true negatives and true positives) for reading and spelling difficulties and expressive language between the 2 types of case identification method was found.

Conclusions Parents can be effective identifiers when the impairment is severe (below 2 SDs from the population mean). Poor agreement was observed between report and assessment of receptive language difficulties.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Wellcome Trust Grant 060774 and Nuffield Foundation Grants AT251/OD and DIR/28 to Gina Conti-Ramsden. Thanks go to Emma Knox, Catherine Pratt, and Helen Betteridge for help with data collection and Milena Falcaro for help with data analysis. We would also like to thank the schools and families who gave their time so generously.
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