A Method for Studying the Generalized Slowing Hypothesis in Children With Specific Language Impairment The present work was conducted to demonstrate a method that could be used to assess the hypothesis that children with specific language impairment (SLI) often respond more slowly than unimpaired children on a range of tasks. The data consisted of 22 pairs of mean response times (RTs) obtained from previously ... Research Note
Research Note  |   April 01, 1994
A Method for Studying the Generalized Slowing Hypothesis in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert Kail
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Robert Kail, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; e-mail: rk@psych.purdue.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Note
Research Note   |   April 01, 1994
A Method for Studying the Generalized Slowing Hypothesis in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1994, Vol. 37, 418-421. doi:10.1044/jshr.3702.418
History: Received February 10, 1993 , Accepted September 27, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1994, Vol. 37, 418-421. doi:10.1044/jshr.3702.418
History: Received February 10, 1993; Accepted September 27, 1993

The present work was conducted to demonstrate a method that could be used to assess the hypothesis that children with specific language impairment (SLI) often respond more slowly than unimpaired children on a range of tasks. The data consisted of 22 pairs of mean response times (RTs) obtained from previously published studies; each pair consisted of a mean RT for a group of children with SLI for an experimental condition and the corresponding mean RT for a group of children without SLI. If children with SLI always respond more slowly than unimpaired children and by an amount that does not vary across tasks, then RTs for children with SLI should increase linearly as a function of RTs for age-matched control children without SLI. This result was obtained and is consistent with the view that differences in processing speed between children with and without SLI reflect some general (i.e., non-task specific) component of cognitive processing. Future applications of the method are suggested.

Acknowledgments
The original collection of the data described here was supported by NINCDS grant 17663. The present analyses were supported by NICHD grant 19447. I wish to thank Laurence B. Leonard and three reviewers for their helpful comments on previous drafts of this manuscript.
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