Tracking Children From Poverty at Risk for Specific Language Impairment: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study A 3-year longitudinal study of the language performance of children from poverty was designed to address the problem of separating children with a specific language impairment (SLI) from low-scoring normal children in the borderline area on the continuum of language performance where normal ends and abnormal begins. Two approaches to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1996
Tracking Children From Poverty at Risk for Specific Language Impairment: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara B. Fazio
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Rita C. Naremore
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Phil J. Connell
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Contact author: Barbara Fazio, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. E-mail: faziob@indiana.edu
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1996
Tracking Children From Poverty at Risk for Specific Language Impairment: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1996, Vol. 39, 611-624. doi:10.1044/jshr.3903.611
History: Received February 14, 1995 , Accepted November 15, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1996, Vol. 39, 611-624. doi:10.1044/jshr.3903.611
History: Received February 14, 1995; Accepted November 15, 1996

A 3-year longitudinal study of the language performance of children from poverty was designed to address the problem of separating children with a specific language impairment (SLI) from low-scoring normal children in the borderline area on the continuum of language performance where normal ends and abnormal begins. Two approaches to definition were compared: an experimental approach (using story-retelling, rote-memory ability, and invented-morpheme learning) and a traditional approach (using standardized-test discrepancy scores). Results indicated that 6 of 34 children tracked from kindergarten through second grade appeared to be SLI at the end of the study. The best kindergarten predictor for the outcome status of these 6 children was a combination of the score on the Oral Vocabulary subtest of the TOLD-2P and the score on a combination of the experimental tasks. The best single kindergarten predictor of the academic status of the 15 children in the study who received academic remediation was story-retelling. Children’s scores on the experimental and standardized tests of language performance and nonverbal intelligence were profiled over the 3 years of the study, and patterns of change in many instances reveal the lifting of the early influences of poverty.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a research grant from NIDCD (DC-00495) awarded to P. Connell by the National Institutes of Health. A special thanks to Catherine Hanson Balthazar for her invaluable assistance in data collection and analysis.
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