A Nationally Representative Study of the Association Between Communication Impairment at 4–5 Years and Children’s Life Activities at 7–9 Years PurposeTo examine the longitudinal association between communication impairment (primary or secondary diagnosis) and children’s Activities and Participation (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health—Children and Youth [ICF–CY]; World Health Organization [WHO], 2007).MethodParticipants were 4,329 children in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC; Australian Institute of Family Studies [AIFS], 2009): ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2011
A Nationally Representative Study of the Association Between Communication Impairment at 4–5 Years and Children’s Life Activities at 7–9 Years
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda J. Harrison
    Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia
  • Sharynne McLeod
    Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia
  • Lindy McAllister
    The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Correspondence to Jane McCormack: jmccormack@csu.edu.au
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Sean Redmond
    Associate Editor: Sean Redmond×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Language
Article   |   October 01, 2011
A Nationally Representative Study of the Association Between Communication Impairment at 4–5 Years and Children’s Life Activities at 7–9 Years
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1328-1348. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0155)
History: Received June 8, 2010 , Revised September 30, 2010 , Accepted January 25, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1328-1348. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0155)
History: Received June 8, 2010; Revised September 30, 2010; Accepted January 25, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 35

PurposeTo examine the longitudinal association between communication impairment (primary or secondary diagnosis) and children’s Activities and Participation (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health—Children and Youth [ICF–CY]; World Health Organization [WHO], 2007).

MethodParticipants were 4,329 children in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC; Australian Institute of Family Studies [AIFS], 2009): 1,041 (24.0%) of these children were identified with communication impairment at 4–5 years of age, and 3,288 (76.0%) of these children were not identified with a communication impairment. At age 7–9 years, Activities and Participation (WHO, 2007) outcomes across 5 ICF–CY domains were provided by (a) teachers (Academic Rating Scales [National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2002 ], Approach to Learning Scale [Gresham & Elliott, 1990 ], School Progress Scale (AIFS, 2009), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire [SDQ; Goodman, 1997 ], and Student–Teacher Relationship Scale [Pianta, 2001 ]); (b) parents (School-Age Inventory of Temperament [McClowry, 1995 ] and SDQ); (c) children (Marsh Self-Description Questionnaire–III [Marsh, 1992 ], School Liking [Ladd & Price, 1987 ], and Bullying [Kochenderfer & Ladd, 1997 ]); and (d) child assessment (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—III: Adapted; Rothman, 2003).

ResultsChildren identified with communication impairment at age 4–5 years performed significantly poorer at age 7–9 years on all outcomes. Parents and teachers reported slower progression in reading, writing, and overall school achievement than peers. Children reported more bullying, poorer peer relationships, and less enjoyment of school than did their peers. Analyses of covariance tests confirmed significant associations between communication impairment and outcomes, over and above the effects of sex, age, Indigenous status, and socioeconomic status.

ConclusionConsideration of the breadth and longevity of Activities and Participation outcomes reveals the potential extent and severity of communication impairment and directs future research and practice.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by The Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences (administered by the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation) and comprises a portion of the first author’s doctoral dissertation, supervised by the subsequent authors. We would like to acknowledge the members of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Research Consortium: John Ainley, Donna Berthelsen, Michael Bittman, Bruce Bradbury, Linda Harrison, Jan Nicholson, Bryan Rodgers, Ann Sanson, Michael Sawyer, Sven Silburn, Lyndall Strazdins, Judy Ungerer, Graham Vimpani, Melissa Wake, and Stephen Zubrick.
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