Taxometric Analyses of Specific Language Impairment in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Specific language impairment (SLI), like many diagnostic labels for complex behavioral conditions, is often assumed to define a category of children who differ not only in degree but also in kind from children developing language normally. Although this assumption has important implications for theoretical models and clinical approaches, its validity ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2004
Taxometric Analyses of Specific Language Impairment in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christine A. Dollaghan
    University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, PA
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: dollagha@csd.pitt.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2004
Taxometric Analyses of Specific Language Impairment in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2004, Vol. 47, 464-475. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/037)
History: Received April 26, 2003 , Accepted August 31, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2004, Vol. 47, 464-475. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/037)
History: Received April 26, 2003; Accepted August 31, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

Specific language impairment (SLI), like many diagnostic labels for complex behavioral conditions, is often assumed to define a category of children who differ not only in degree but also in kind from children developing language normally. Although this assumption has important implications for theoretical models and clinical approaches, its validity has not been tested. In this study, distributions of language scores from children at ages 3 (N = 620) and 4 (N = 623) years were analyzed using a taxometric procedure known as "mean above minus below a cut" (MAMBAC; P. E. Meehl & L. J. Yonce, 1994). Language scores were distributed dimensionally at both ages, failing to support the hypothesis of a qualitatively distinct group corresponding to children with SLI.

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