Risk and Protective Factors Associated With Speech and Language Impairment in a Nationally Representative Sample of 4- to 5-Year-Old Children PurposeTo determine risk and protective factors for speech and language impairment in early childhood.MethodData are presented for a nationally representative sample of 4,983 children participating in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (described in McLeod & Harrison, 2009). Thirty-one child, parent, family, and community factors previously reported as being predictors ... Article
Article  |   April 2010
Risk and Protective Factors Associated With Speech and Language Impairment in a Nationally Representative Sample of 4- to 5-Year-Old Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda J. Harrison
    Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
  • Sharynne McLeod
    Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
  • Contact author: Linda Harrison, School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst, NSW, 2795, Australia. E-mail: lharrison@csu.edu.au.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Article   |   April 2010
Risk and Protective Factors Associated With Speech and Language Impairment in a Nationally Representative Sample of 4- to 5-Year-Old Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2010, Vol. 53, 508-529. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0086)
History: Received April 24, 2008 , Revised April 3, 2009 , Accepted July 30, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2010, Vol. 53, 508-529. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0086)
History: Received April 24, 2008; Revised April 3, 2009; Accepted July 30, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 25
Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the following sources: Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP0773978 and the Charles Sturt University Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning, and Education. An earlier version of a portion of this article was presented at the 2008 Conference of the International Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Association in Istanbul, Turkey. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the Australian Rotary Health Fund and Foundation for Children Research Grant and the members of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Research Consortium: John Ainley, Donna Berthelsen, Michael Bittman, Linda Harrison, Ilan Katz, Jan Nicholson, Bryan Rodgers, Ann Sanson, Michael Sawyer, Sven Silburn, Lyndall Strazdins, Judy Ungerer, Graham Vimpani, Melissa Wake, and Stephen Zubrick.

PurposeTo determine risk and protective factors for speech and language impairment in early childhood.

MethodData are presented for a nationally representative sample of 4,983 children participating in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (described in McLeod & Harrison, 2009). Thirty-one child, parent, family, and community factors previously reported as being predictors of speech and language impairment were tested as predictors of (a) parent-rated expressive speech/language concern and (b) receptive language concern, (c) use of speech-language pathology services, and (d) low receptive vocabulary.

ResultsBivariate logistic regression analyses confirmed 29 of the identified factors. However, when tested concurrently with other predictors in multivariate analyses, only 19 remained significant: 9 for 2–4 outcomes and 10 for 1 outcome. Consistent risk factors were being male, having ongoing hearing problems, and having a more reactive temperament. Protective factors were having a more persistent and sociable temperament and higher levels of maternal well-being. Results differed by outcome for having an older sibling, parents speaking a language other than English, and parental support for children’s learning at home.

ConclusionIdentification of children requiring speech and language assessment requires consideration of the context of family life as well as biological and psychosocial factors intrinsic to the child.

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