Comparison of Idiom Comprehension of Normal Children and Children With Mental Retardation This study compared the comprehension of 20 idioms of normal children with children exhibiting mild mental retardation. Sixty-six children comprised three groups: normal 9-year-olds, 9-year-old children with mild mental retardation, and younger normal children matched with the mentally retarded children by receptive vocabulary age. The assessment included both literal and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1991
Comparison of Idiom Comprehension of Normal Children and Children With Mental Retardation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Helen K. Ezell
    University of Pittsburgh
  • Howard Goldstein
    University of Pittsburgh
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Helen K. Ezell, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, 320 East North Avenue. Pittsburgh, PA 15212–9986.
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1991
Comparison of Idiom Comprehension of Normal Children and Children With Mental Retardation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1991, Vol. 34, 812-819. doi:10.1044/jshr.3404.812
History: Received August 14, 1989 , Accepted October 26, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1991, Vol. 34, 812-819. doi:10.1044/jshr.3404.812
History: Received August 14, 1989; Accepted October 26, 1990

This study compared the comprehension of 20 idioms of normal children with children exhibiting mild mental retardation. Sixty-six children comprised three groups: normal 9-year-olds, 9-year-old children with mild mental retardation, and younger normal children matched with the mentally retarded children by receptive vocabulary age. The assessment included both literal and idiomatic contexts with accompanying picture stimuli. The three groups demonstrated high accuracy with the literal contexts. On the idiomatic contexts, the normal children comprehended significantly more idioms than the children with mental retardation, and the mentally retarded children performed significantly better than the younger normal children.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Jennifer Jones in the data collection of this study. Also, our special thanks to Elaine Rubenstein for her counsel and assistance with the statistical analyses.
Support for this research has been provided by the U.S. Department of Education Grant No. H023B80003 to the University of Pittsburgh.
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