Language Skills of Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome I. Comprehension Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1991
Language Skills of Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robin S. Chapman
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Scott E. Schwartz
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Robin S. Chapman, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1975 Willow Drive, Madison, WI 53706.
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1991
Language Skills of Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 1106-1120. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.1106
History: Received August 13, 1990 , Accepted December 12, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 1106-1120. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.1106
History: Received August 13, 1990; Accepted December 12, 1990

This study investigates the development of vocabulary and syntax comprehension skills cross-sectionally in 48 children and adolescents with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), aged 5–20 years, in comparison to 48 control children aged 2–6 years matched statistically for nonverbal mental age and mother’s years of education. Age-equivalent scores on vocabulary (PPVT-R) and syntax (TACL-R) comprehension tests differed in the Down syndrome group but not the control group; vocabulary comprehension was relatively more advanced than syntax Ageequivalent scores on nonverbal cognitive subtests of pattern analysis and short-term memory for bead arrangements (Stanford-Binet, 4th ed.) also differed for the Down syndrome group but not the control group, indicating an unusual pattern of nonverbal cognitive function in the Down syndrome group. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that chronological age and ean mental age, collectively, accounted for 78% of the variability in vocabulary comprehension and 80% of the variability in syntax comprehension in the Down syndrome group, with total passes on a hearing screening accounting for an additional 4% in each case Implications for research are discussed

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by NIH Grant R01 HD23353 to the author Chapman and by Core Support Grant No. 5 P30 HD03352 to the Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development. The help of the children and parents who participated is gratefully acknowledged, as is the assistance of the Down Syndrome Developmental Monitoring Program, directed by Joan Burns and Jon Miller, in finding children, and that of Hye-Kyeung Seung in the literature review. We thank Len Abbeduto for helpful comments. A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Boston, MA, November 18, 1988.
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