Article  |   June 2011
Examining Continuity of Early Expressive Vocabulary Development: The Generation R Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jens Henrichs
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Leslie Rescorla
    Bryn Mawr College, PA
    Bryn Mawr College, PA
  • Jacqueline J. Schenk
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Henk G. Schmidt
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Vincent W. V. Jaddoe
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Albert Hofman
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Hein Raat
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Frank C. Verhulst
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Henning Tiemeier
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Correspondence to Henning Tiemeier: h.tiemeier@erasmusmc.nl
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Pamela Hadley
    Associate Editor: Pamela Hadley×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Language
Article   |   June 2011
Examining Continuity of Early Expressive Vocabulary Development: The Generation R Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2011, Vol. 54, 854-869. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0255)
History: Received November 25, 2009 , Revised April 24, 2010 , Accepted September 24, 2010
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2011, Vol. 54, 854-869. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0255)
History: Received November 25, 2009; Revised April 24, 2010; Accepted September 24, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

Purpose: The authors investigated continuity and discontinuity of vocabulary skills in a population-based cohort in the Netherlands.

Method: Mothers of 3,759 children completed the Dutch version of the MacArthur Short Form Vocabulary Checklist (Zink & Lejaegere, 2003) at 18 months and a Dutch translation of the Language Development Survey (Rescorla, 1989) at 30 months. At both ages, expressive vocabulary delay was defined as vocabulary scores <10th age- and gender-specific percentile.

Results: Of the children, 85.2% had normal vocabulary development at both ages, 6.2% were “late bloomers,” 6.0% had late onset expressive vocabulary delay, and 2.6% had persistent expressive vocabulary delay. Word production and comprehension at 18 months explained 11.5% of the variance in 30-month vocabulary scores, with low birth weight, child age, gender and ethnicity, maternal age and education, and parenting stress explaining an additional 6.2%. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify biological, demographic, and psychological factors associated with each of the vocabulary delay outcome groups relative to the typically developing group.

Conclusions: Although multiple perinatal, demographic, and maternal psychosocial factors significantly predicted vocabulary skills at 30 months, positive predictive value and sensitivity were low. Future studies should address to what extent additional factors, such as brain maturation and genetic influences, can improve the prediction and understanding of continuity and discontinuity of language delay.

Acknowledgments
The Generation R Study is conducted by the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, in close collaboration with the School of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam; the Municipal Health Service Rotterdam area; the Rotterdam Homecare Foundation; and the Stichting Trombosedienst en Artsenlaboratorium Rijnmond, Rotterdam. The first phase of the Generation R Study was made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of general practitioners, hospitals, midwives, and pharmacies in Rotterdam.
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