Family History in Developmental Expressive Language Delay Familial aggregation of language deficits has been demonstrated in previous studies. However, researchers have typically failed to differentiate subgroups of language-impaired children. The present study used questionnaire data to assess the family history of speech, language, and school problems in a group of young children with developmental expressive language delay ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1991
Family History in Developmental Expressive Language Delay
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Grover J. Whitehurst
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • David S. Arnold
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Meagan Smith
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Janet E. Fischel
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Christopher J. Lonigan
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Marta C. Valdez-Menchaca
    State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Grover J. Whitehurst, PhD, Department of Psychology, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794.
  • Now affiliated with the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara.
    Now affiliated with the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1991
Family History in Developmental Expressive Language Delay
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 1150-1157. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.1150
History: Received June 24, 1990 , Accepted February 12, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 1150-1157. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.1150
History: Received June 24, 1990; Accepted February 12, 1991

Familial aggregation of language deficits has been demonstrated in previous studies. However, researchers have typically failed to differentiate subgroups of language-impaired children. The present study used questionnaire data to assess the family history of speech, language, and school problems in a group of young children with developmental expressive language delay (ELD) and in a sample of normally developing children. In contrast to previous studies of language and speech problems, no strong familial component of ELD was found. Further, family history was not predictive of later language development in ELD children. These findings argue against genetic and familial causes of ELD and attest to the importance of differentiating subtypes of early language problems.

Acknowledgments
This work has been supported by NIMH grant #1 RO3 MH41603 to author Fischel and by NICHD grant #1 RO1 HD19245 to authors Whitehurst and Fischel. We thank the Department of Pediatrics at the Nassau County Medical Center for the use of their facilities.
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