Relationship Between Language and Fluency in Children With Developmental Language Disorders The present investigation addresses two primary hypotheses: (a) that a subset of children with developmental language disorders exhibits significantly more disfluencies than other children with language disorders and (b) that differences between the disfluent and nondisfluent groups observed in fluency may be related to differences in language deficits. Spontaneous language ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1993
Relationship Between Language and Fluency in Children With Developmental Language Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy E. Hall
    Department of Pediatrics Case Western Reserve University Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital Cleveland, OH
  • Toyoko S. Yamashita
    Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics Case Western Reserve University Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital Cleveland, OH
  • Dorothy M. Aram
    Division of Communication Disorders Emerson College Boston, MA
  • Contact author: Nancy E. Hall, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital, 2101 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1993
Relationship Between Language and Fluency in Children With Developmental Language Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 568-579. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.568
History: Received April 6, 1992 , Accepted December 2, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 568-579. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.568
History: Received April 6, 1992; Accepted December 2, 1992

The present investigation addresses two primary hypotheses: (a) that a subset of children with developmental language disorders exhibits significantly more disfluencies than other children with language disorders and (b) that differences between the disfluent and nondisfluent groups observed in fluency may be related to differences in language deficits. Spontaneous language samples from 60 preschool children with developmental language disorders were analyzed for frequency and type of disfluencies. Comparisons of the frequency of disfluencies across subjects revealed that a subset of 10 subjects exhibited significantly more disfluencies than the other subjects with language disorders. Demographic, intelligence, and language variables were compared across the two groups to determine whether such factors could account for the differences in fluency. The subjects with greater percentages of disfluencies were found to be significantly older and demonstrated significantly higher scores on two standard measures of vocabulary. These findings were interpreted in light of two models of disfluencies: the neuropsycholinguistic (Perkins, Kent, & Curlee, 1991) and Demands and Capacities (Adams, 1990; Starkweather, 1987). This suggests that some children with language disorders are at risk for fluency breakdown because of dysynchronies in the development of lexical and syntactic aspects of language or as a result of mismatches between speaking demands and capacities.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this paper includes portions of a doctoral dissertation conducted by the first author under the guidance of the second and third authors. The helpful contributions of committee members Kathy L. Chapman and Danielle N. Ripich are recognized. The assistance of Susan C. Meyers in developing the transcription and coding procedures, Colleen F. Visconti in calculating reliability, and Melissa B. Meehan in data collection is gratefully acknowledged. This research was supported by NIH grant NS 20489, “Nosology of Higher Cerebral Function Disorders in Children.”
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