A Meta-Analysis of Cross Sectional Studies Investigating Language in Maltreated Children Purpose In this review article, meta-analysis was used to summarize research investigating language skills in maltreated children. Method A systematic search of published studies was undertaken. Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they investigated language skills in groups comprising maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Studies were selected if ... Review Article
Review Article  |   June 01, 2015
A Meta-Analysis of Cross Sectional Studies Investigating Language in Maltreated Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jarrad A. G. Lum
    Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Martine Powell
    Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Lydia Timms
    Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Pamela Snow
    Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • 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 Jarrad A. G. Lum: jarrad.lum@deakin.edu.au
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird
    Associate Editor: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird×
Article Information
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Review Article
Review Article   |   June 01, 2015
A Meta-Analysis of Cross Sectional Studies Investigating Language in Maltreated Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 961-976. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0056
History: Received February 18, 2014 , Revised August 9, 2014 , Accepted March 12, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 961-976. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0056
History: Received February 18, 2014; Revised August 9, 2014; Accepted March 12, 2015

Purpose In this review article, meta-analysis was used to summarize research investigating language skills in maltreated children.

Method A systematic search of published studies was undertaken. Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they investigated language skills in groups comprising maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Studies were selected if these 2 groups of children were of comparable age and from a similar socioeconomic background.

Results A total of 26 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. Results from the meta-analysis showed that maltreated children demonstrated consistently poorer language skills with respect to receptive vocabulary (k = 19; standardized mean difference [SMD] = .463; 95% confidence interval [CI; .293, .634]; p < .001), expressive language (k = 4; SMD =.860; 95% CI [.557, 1.163]; p < .001), and receptive language (k = 9; SMD =.528; 95% CI [.220, .837]; p < .001).

Conclusion Together, these results indicate a reliable association between child maltreatment and poor language skills.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Australian Research Council (Grant DP1095509). We thank Gillian Clark and Bronwen Manger for their assistance with collecting and reviewing articles for this article.
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