Sentence Comprehension in Adolescents With Down Syndrome and Typically Developing Children Role of Sentence Voice, Visual Context, and Auditory-Verbal Short-Term Memory Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2005
Sentence Comprehension in Adolescents With Down Syndrome and Typically Developing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Giuliana Miolo
    University of Wisconsin—Whitewater and Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Robin S. Chapman
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Heidi A. Sindberg
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Contact author: Giuliana Miolo, Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190.
    Contact author: Giuliana Miolo, Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: miolog@uww.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2005
Sentence Comprehension in Adolescents With Down Syndrome and Typically Developing Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 172-188. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/013)
History: Received December 14, 2002 , Revised August 28, 2003 , Accepted June 29, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 172-188. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/013)
History: Received December 14, 2002; Revised August 28, 2003; Accepted June 29, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 39

The authors evaluated the roles of auditory-verbal short-term memory, visual short-term memory, and group membership in predicting language comprehension, as measured by an experimental sentence comprehension task (SCT) and the Test for Auditory Comprehension of Language—Third Edition (TACL-3; E. Carrow-Woolfolk, 1999) in 38 participants: 19 with Down syndrome (DS), age 12 to 21 years, and 19 typically developing (TD) children, age 3 to 5 years, matched on syntax comprehension, as measured by TACL-3 Subtests II and III. Of the 5 dependent measures of comprehension, auditory-verbal short-term memory accounted for significant amounts of variance in 4; group membership, 1 (semantic role assignment); and visual short-term memory, 0. In the group with DS, hearing status predicted variation in Grammatical Morphemes (TACL-3 Subtest II). Using the SCT, the authors also investigated the effects of varying sentence voice and supporting visual context on sentence comprehension. SCT performance was significantly poorer in terms of (a) referent selection and semantic role assignment, for passive (vs. active) sentences in both groups, and (b) semantic role assignment in all sentences for the group with DS (vs. the TD group). Vocabulary strengths in the group with DS were found with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Third Edition (L. M. Dunn & L. M. Dunn, 1997) but not the TACL-3 Vocabulary subtest.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 HD23353 to the second author, with additional support from the National Down Syndrome Society. We are grateful to the parents, children, adolescents, and young adults who participated in our study. We thank Cynthia Bridge, Stephen LeMire, Mary Lindstrom, Sally Miles, Peggy Rosin, and the research team for their assistance, and we thank the reviewers for their helpful comments.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access