The Performance of Children With Language-Learning Disabilities on Two Types of Cognitive Tasks The performance of children with language-learning disabilities on two types of cognitive tasks was compared to that of two groups without language-learning disabilities, one matched for mental age and the other for language (vocabulary) age. The first task, Concept Formation, measured one’s ability to identify and state the rule for ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1993
The Performance of Children With Language-Learning Disabilities on Two Types of Cognitive Tasks
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julie J. Masterson
    Southwest Missouri State University Springfield
  • Contact author: Julie J. Masterson, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, Southwest Missouri State University, 901 South National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65804. E-mail: (Bitnet) JJM095F@-SMSUMA; (Internet) JJM095F@VMA.SMSU.EDU
Article Information
Development / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1993
The Performance of Children With Language-Learning Disabilities on Two Types of Cognitive Tasks
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1993, Vol. 36, 1026-1036. doi:10.1044/jshr.3605.1026
History: Received April 30, 1992 , Accepted May 18, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1993, Vol. 36, 1026-1036. doi:10.1044/jshr.3605.1026
History: Received April 30, 1992; Accepted May 18, 1993

The performance of children with language-learning disabilities on two types of cognitive tasks was compared to that of two groups without language-learning disabilities, one matched for mental age and the other for language (vocabulary) age. The first task, Concept Formation, measured one’s ability to identify and state the rule for a concept about a set of colored geometric figures when shown instances and noninstances of the concept. The second task, Analysis Synthesis, required the identification and use of a solution key to solve an incomplete logic puzzle. Both tasks involved increases in complexity as additional items were administered. Results indicate that the children with language-learning disabilities performed at a level commensurate with the language-matched group on the Concept Formation task, and at a level commensurate with the mental-age matched group on the Analysis-Synthesis task. The implications of these findings for the nature of language-learning disabilities are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The comments of Elizabeth Skarakis-Doyle and two anonymous JSHR reviewers regarding this manuscript were very helpful. I am grateful to Richard Woodcock for his suggestions regarding this study, particularly data analysis and interpretation. Portions of this study were completed while the author was on faculty at the University of Mississippi, and funding was provided by the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts. Lea Helen Evans, Julie Clayton, and Mark Aloia assisted in data collection. I appreciate the efforts of Ann Carpenter, Sarah Blackwell, Cindy Bounds, Sherry Inmon, Rene Friemoth-Lee, Bonnie Buntin, Maggie Farmer, Bob McCord, Carol Dye, Wanda Dean, and Tom King in locating subjects for participation in this study.
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