Validity of a Parent Report Measure of Vocabulary and Syntax for Preschool Children With Language Impairment Previous research has documented the validity of parent report for measuring vocabulary and grammar in typically developing toddlers. In this project, two studies examined the validity of parent report for measuring language in children with specific language delay who are older than the normative group, but who have language levels ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1999
Validity of a Parent Report Measure of Vocabulary and Syntax for Preschool Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna J. Thal
    San Diego State University San Diego, CA
    University of California San Diego, CA
  • Laureen O'Hanlon
    University of Kansas Lawrence
  • LaShon Fralin
    Escondido Union School District Escondido, CA
  • Contact author: Donna J. Thal, Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, 6330 Alvarado Court Suite 231, San Diego, CA 92120.
    Contact author: Donna J. Thal, Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, 6330 Alvarado Court Suite 231, San Diego, CA 92120.×
  • Corresponding author: Email: dthal@mail.sdsu.edu
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1999
Validity of a Parent Report Measure of Vocabulary and Syntax for Preschool Children With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1999, Vol. 42, 482-496. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4202.482
History: Received January 20, 1998 , Accepted September 16, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1999, Vol. 42, 482-496. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4202.482
History: Received January 20, 1998; Accepted September 16, 1998

Previous research has documented the validity of parent report for measuring vocabulary and grammar in typically developing toddlers. In this project, two studies examined the validity of parent report for measuring language in children with specific language delay who are older than the normative group, but who have language levels within the range measured by the instruments. In Study 1, scores on the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Sentences were compared to behavioral measures of production of vocabulary and grammar in 39- to 49-month-old children with language delay. Results indicated moderately high to high concurrent validity correlations in both domains (.67–.86). In Study 2, scores on the MacArthur Communicative Inventory: Words and Gestures were compared to behavioral measures of vocabulary comprehension and production and gesture production in 24- to 32-month-old children with language delay. Results indicated a moderately high concurrent validity correlation for vocabulary production (.66). Parent report of comprehension and gesture scores did not correlate significantly with their behavioral counterparts, but gesture scores were moderately highly correlated with language comprehension (.65).

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by NIH Grants DC00089 and DC00482. We would like to thank, first and foremost, the parents and children who generously gave their time to participate in this study. Thanks also go to Donald Worthington, Linda Traiger, Mercedes Ferrill, and Kathy Thomas from San Diego City Schools; to Francine Austerlitz and Merle Irvin from the Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego, for contributing their time and support to this project; and to Denise Washkevich for her help collecting the data and transcribing the language samples.
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