Differences in the Performance of Children With Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers on Nonverbal Cognitive Tests: A Meta-Analysis Purpose This study used meta-analysis to investigate the difference in nonverbal cognitive test performance of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing (TD) peers. Method The meta-analysis included studies (a) that were published between 1995 and 2012 of children with SLI who were age matched (and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2014
Differences in the Performance of Children With Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers on Nonverbal Cognitive Tests: A Meta-Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erica Gallinat
    University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Tammie J. Spaulding
    University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Tammie J. Spaulding: tammie.spaulding@uconn.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Ron Gillam
    Associate Editor: Ron Gillam×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2014
Differences in the Performance of Children With Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers on Nonverbal Cognitive Tests: A Meta-Analysis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1363-1382. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-12-0363
History: Received November 12, 2012 , Revised August 17, 2013 , Accepted November 12, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1363-1382. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-12-0363
History: Received November 12, 2012; Revised August 17, 2013; Accepted November 12, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

Purpose This study used meta-analysis to investigate the difference in nonverbal cognitive test performance of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing (TD) peers.

Method The meta-analysis included studies (a) that were published between 1995 and 2012 of children with SLI who were age matched (and not nonverbal cognitive matched) to TD peers and given a norm-referenced nonverbal cognitive test and (b) that reported sufficient data for an effect size analysis. Multilevel modeling was used to examine the performance of children with SLI relative to their typically developing, age-matched peers on nonverbal IQ tests.

Results Across 138 samples from 131 studies, on average children with SLI scored 0.69 standard deviations below their TD peers on nonverbal cognitive tests after adjusting for the differences in the tests used, the low-boundary cutoff scores, the age of the participants, and whether studies matched the two groups on socioeconomic status.

Discussion The lower performance of children with SLI relative to TD children on nonverbal IQ tests has theoretical implications for the characterization of SLI and clinical and political implications regarding how nonverbal cognitive tests are used and interpreted for children with this disorder.

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