Predictors of Print Knowledge in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Experiential and Developmental Factors Purpose Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) demonstrate delays in print knowledge, yet the reasons for these delays are not well understood. The present study investigates the degree to which developmental risk factors and home literacy experiences predict the print knowledge of children with SLI. Method Direct ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2009
Predictors of Print Knowledge in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Experiential and Developmental Factors
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anita S. McGinty
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Laura M. Justice
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Contact author: Anita S. McGinty, Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904. E-mail: as2g@virginia.edu.
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2009
Predictors of Print Knowledge in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Experiential and Developmental Factors
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2009, Vol. 52, 81-97. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0279)
History: Received December 21, 2007 , Accepted June 9, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2009, Vol. 52, 81-97. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0279)
History: Received December 21, 2007; Accepted June 9, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

Purpose Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) demonstrate delays in print knowledge, yet the reasons for these delays are not well understood. The present study investigates the degree to which developmental risk factors and home literacy experiences predict the print knowledge of children with SLI.

Method Direct child measures, maternal reports, and observations from 41 mothers and their preschool-aged children with SLI assessed child language and attentional difficulties, family socioeconomic status, the frequency and quality of home literacy, and children’s print knowledge.

Results Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that individual differences in children’s oral language abilities did not explain individual variability in print knowledge. The quality of home literacy was the only significant predictor of print knowledge, but its influence was moderated by children’s attentional difficulties.

Conclusions Findings reveal that language difficulty is not an adequate explanation for the print knowledge delays of children with SLI and suggest that literacy experiences may play an important role in the print knowledge attainment of children with SLI. The quality of home literacy appears to foster print knowledge by compensating for attentional difficulties in children with SLI but is not sufficient to promote print knowledge in children with SLI without attentional difficulties.

Acknowledgments
We acknowledge the support provided by Grant DC04933 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and support to the first author from the University of Virginia Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education Award #R305B040049. We thank the families, children, and research staff who made this work possible. Lori Skibbe deserves a special note of gratitude for her involvement in data collection activities.
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