Effects of Sampling Context on Spontaneous Expressive Language in Males With Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome Purpose: In this study, the authors examined the impact of sampling context on multiple aspects of expressive language in male participants with fragile X syndrome in comparison to male participants with Down syndrome or typical development.Method: Participants with fragile X syndrome (n = 27), ages 10–17 years, were ... Article
Article  |   August 2012
Effects of Sampling Context on Spontaneous Expressive Language in Males With Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea McDuffie
    M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis
  • Leonard Abbeduto
    M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis
  • W. Ted Brown
    New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island
  • Correspondence to Sara T. Kover: kover@wisc.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Elizabeth Crais
    Associate Editor: Elizabeth Crais×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Autism Spectrum / Normal Language Processing / Language
Article   |   August 2012
Effects of Sampling Context on Spontaneous Expressive Language in Males With Fragile X Syndrome or Down Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1022-1038. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0075)
History: Received March 28, 2011 , Revised September 6, 2011 , Accepted November 22, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1022-1038. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0075)
History: Received March 28, 2011; Revised September 6, 2011; Accepted November 22, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose: In this study, the authors examined the impact of sampling context on multiple aspects of expressive language in male participants with fragile X syndrome in comparison to male participants with Down syndrome or typical development.

Method: Participants with fragile X syndrome (n = 27), ages 10–17 years, were matched groupwise on nonverbal mental age to adolescents with Down syndrome (n = 15) and typically developing 3- to 6-year-olds (n = 15). Language sampling contexts were an interview-style conversation and narration of a wordless book, with scripted examiner behavior. Language was assessed in terms of amount of talk, mean length of communication unit (MLCU), lexical diversity, fluency, and intelligibility.

Results: Participants with fragile X syndrome had lower MLCU and lexical diversity than did participants with typical development. Participants with Down syndrome produced yet lower MLCU. A differential effect of context among those with fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and typical development emerged for the number of attempts per minute, MLCU, and fluency. For participants with fragile X syndrome, autism symptom severity related to the number of utterances produced in conversation. Aspects of examiner behavior related to participant performance.

Conclusion: Sampling context characteristics should be considered when assessing expressive language in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants R01 HD024356 and P30 HD003352, as well as three fellowships awarded to the first author: the Waisman Center’s Anderson Hoffman Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, the Michael Vincent and Harriet Frisbie Eastabrooks O’Shea Fellowship, and NIH F31 DC010959 National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship. Portions of these data were presented at the 43rd Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Annapolis, Maryland. We offer our sincere appreciation to all of the families who participated in this research. We thank Susen Schroeder for her dedication in supervising the transcription of language samples and Pamela Lewis for contributing to the autism evaluations.
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