Nonword Repetition and Child Language Impairment A brief, processing-dependent, nonword repetition task, designed to minimize biases associated with traditional language tests, was investigated. In Study 1, no overlap in nonword repetition performance was found between a group of 20 school-age children enrolled in language intervention (LI) and a group of 20 age-matched peers developing language normally ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1998
Nonword Repetition and Child Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Chris Dollaghan
    University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
  • Thomas F. Campbell
    University of Pittsburgh Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Contact author: Chris Dollaghan, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Communication Science and Disorders, 4033 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. e-mail: dollagha+@pitt.edu
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1998
Nonword Repetition and Child Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1998, Vol. 41, 1136-1146. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4105.1136
History: Received July 21, 1997 , Accepted February 27, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1998, Vol. 41, 1136-1146. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4105.1136
History: Received July 21, 1997; Accepted February 27, 1998

A brief, processing-dependent, nonword repetition task, designed to minimize biases associated with traditional language tests, was investigated. In Study 1, no overlap in nonword repetition performance was found between a group of 20 school-age children enrolled in language intervention (LI) and a group of 20 age-matched peers developing language normally (LN). In Study 2, a comparison of likelihood ratios for the nonword repetition task and for a traditional language test revealed that nonword repetition distinguished between children independently identified as LI and LN with a high degree of accuracy, by contrast with the traditional language test. Nonword repetition may have considerable clinical utility as a screening measure for language impairment in children. Information on the likelihood ratios associated with all diagnostic tests of language is badly needed.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a research grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R29DC01858) of the National Institutes of Health. Thanks to Denise Balason, Christine Gable, Tara Jackson, Andrea Schwartz, and Caroline Trice for their help in data collection and analysis. Thanks to Ellen Estomin and Barbara Leonard of the Pittsburgh Public Schools for their help in recruiting subjects.
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