Language Matches Illuminating or Confounding? Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1993
Language Matches
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elena Plante
    The University of Arizona Tucson
  • Linda Swisher
    The University of Arizona Tucson
  • Barbara Kiernan
    The University of Arizona Tucson
  • Maria Adelaida Restrepo
    The University of Arizona Tucson
  • Contact author: Elena Plante, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1993
Language Matches
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1993, Vol. 36, 772-776. doi:10.1044/jshr.3604.772
History: Received November 23, 1992 , Accepted March 26, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1993, Vol. 36, 772-776. doi:10.1044/jshr.3604.772
History: Received November 23, 1992; Accepted March 26, 1993

The practice of matching younger, language-matched controls, in addition to age-matched controls, is often used in studies of language-disordered children to examine the role of “language level” on performance. However, the interpretation of the relative performance of subjects in studies using such dual control groups is problematic. Conceptual concerns arise with the use of language matches because language is a multidimensional skill that is not reflected equivalently for the language-disordered children and their language-matched controls. Furthermore, matching by language level inevitably introduces an extraneous age effect that confounds interpretation. In addition, erroneous interpretations of null findings can occur when no differences are found between language-disordered and language-matched groups.

Acknowledgment
Work at the Child Language Laboratory is supported by U.S. Department of Education grant H029D20070, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders grant K08DC00077, and the Tucson Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation.
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