Is Processing Speed Related to Severity of Language Impairment? Children with specific language impairment 29 typically respond more slowly on many tasks than do their typically developing peers. This paper addresses the question of whether speed of response is linearly related to severity of language impairment as measured by standardized test score. To address this question, we performed post ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2001
Is Processing Speed Related to Severity of Language Impairment?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret Lahey
    Bamford-Lahey Children's Foundation Woodside, CA
  • Jan Edwards
    The Ohio State University Columbus
  • Benjamin Munson
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2001
Is Processing Speed Related to Severity of Language Impairment?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1354-1361. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/105)
History: Received May 29, 2001 , Accepted August 30, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1354-1361. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/105)
History: Received May 29, 2001; Accepted August 30, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 37

Children with specific language impairment 29 typically respond more slowly on many tasks than do their typically developing peers. This paper addresses the question of whether speed of response is linearly related to severity of language impairment as measured by standardized test score. To address this question, we performed post hoc analyses of data from a study on lexical processing involving 66 children with SLI (mean age 6 years 9 months) and 66 typically developing children matched for age and nonverbal IQ. Response times derived from a series of tasks were correlated with language test scores. None of the Pearson correlations reached significance when corrected for number of correlations run, nor did a canonical correlation analysis reach significance. If these results are replicated in other studies, then they suggest that there is no direct linear relation between speed of processing and severity of language impairment as it is estimated from scores on standardized tests of language.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by NIDCD grant #DC00676 awarded to Margaret Lahey and Jan Edwards; by NIH training grant DC0051 to Robert A. Fox; by Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Grant #12-256 to Margaret Lahey by the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation; by PSC-CUNY grant #669476 to Jan Edwards; by a grant from the Institutes of Communication Studies at Emerson College to Margaret Lahey; and by a seed grant from the Ohio State University Research Foundation to Jan Edwards. For their help with data collection and analysis, we thank Suzanne Boyce, Nicole DeAngelo, Amy Ebersole, Sarita Eisenberg, Bernadette Kuntz, Sarah Letsky, Ita Olsen, Camille Pyles, Shari Rosen, Gayle Rothman, Bonnie Singer, and Traci Wells-Hamilton; for help with computer programs, we thank Philip Enny; for help with statistical analyses we thank Bea Kraus, Ying Xu, Hongbin Wang, Xiong Hu, and Edward Carney. Finally, we thank the institutions that helped us locate the children, the parents who gave their consent, and the children who participated in the study.
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