Article/Report  |   April 2008
Language Outcomes of 7-Year-Old Children With or Without a History of Late Language Emergence at 24 Months
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mabel L. Rice
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Catherine L. Taylor
    Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Stephen R. Zubrick
    Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Contact author: Mabel L. Rice, 3031 Dole Human Development Center, University of Kansas, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail: mabel@ku.edu.
Development / Special Populations / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article/Report   |   April 2008
Language Outcomes of 7-Year-Old Children With or Without a History of Late Language Emergence at 24 Months
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2008, Vol.51, 394-407. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/029)
History: Accepted 17 Jul 2007 , Received 26 Jan 2007
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2008, Vol.51, 394-407. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/029)
History: Accepted 17 Jul 2007 , Received 26 Jan 2007

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the language outcomes of 7-year-old children with and without a history of late language emergence at 24 months.

Method: One hundred twenty-eight children with a history of late language emergence (LLE) at 24 months and 109 children with a history of normal language emergence (NLE) at 24 months participated in direct behavioral assessment of multiple dimensions of language at 7 years. The children were recruited from a prospective cohort study of 1,766 epidemiologically ascertained 24-month-old singleton children.

Results: The group mean for the LLE children was within the typical range on an omnibus measure of general language ability and measures of specific dimensions of language. However, a greater percentage of LLE children, relative to NLE children, performed below normative expectations on a measure of general language ability (20% versus 11%), speech (7% versus 2%), syntax (18% versus 8%), and morphosyntax (9%–23% versus 2%–14%), but not vocabulary or semantics.

Conclusion: The results provide support for growth models of language impairment that predict that late onset of language foretells a protracted growth difference for some LLE children relative to NLE children, particularly for syntax and morphosyntax.

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