Research to Establish the Validity, Reliability, and Clinical Utility of a Comprehensive Language Assessment of Mandarin Purpose With no existing gold standard for comparison, challenges arise for establishing the validity of a new standardized Mandarin language assessment normed in mainland China. Method A new assessment, Diagnostic Receptive and Expressive Assessment of Mandarin (DREAM), was normed with a stratified sample of 969 children ages 2;6 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2017
Research to Establish the Validity, Reliability, and Clinical Utility of a Comprehensive Language Assessment of Mandarin
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Xueman Lucy Liu
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
    Bethel Hearing and Speaking Training Center, Dallas, TX
  • Jill de Villiers
    Bethel Hearing and Speaking Training Center, Dallas, TX
    Smith College, Northampton, MA
  • Chunyan Ning
    Bethel Hearing and Speaking Training Center, Dallas, TX
    Institute of Linguistics, Tianjin Normal University, China
  • Eric Rolfhus
    Bethel Hearing and Speaking Training Center, Dallas, TX
  • Teresa Hutchings
    Bethel Hearing and Speaking Training Center, Dallas, TX
  • Wendy Lee
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
    Bethel Hearing and Speaking Training Center, Dallas, TX
  • Fan Jiang
    Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Shanghai Children's Medical Center Affiliated to Medical School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • Yi Wen Zhang
    Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Shanghai Children's Medical Center Affiliated to Medical School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • 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 Yi Wen Zhang: zhangyiwen@hotmail.com
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Margarita Kaushanskaya
    Associate Editor: Margarita Kaushanskaya×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2017
Research to Establish the Validity, Reliability, and Clinical Utility of a Comprehensive Language Assessment of Mandarin
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 592-606. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0334
History: Received September 24, 2015 , Revised February 17, 2016 , Accepted July 24, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 592-606. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0334
History: Received September 24, 2015; Revised February 17, 2016; Accepted July 24, 2016

Purpose With no existing gold standard for comparison, challenges arise for establishing the validity of a new standardized Mandarin language assessment normed in mainland China.

Method A new assessment, Diagnostic Receptive and Expressive Assessment of Mandarin (DREAM), was normed with a stratified sample of 969 children ages 2;6 (years;months) to 7;11 in multiple urban and nonurban regions in northern and southern China. In this study of 230 children, the sensitivity and specificity of DREAM were examined against an a priori judgment of disorders. External validity was assessed using 2 indices of language production for different age groups.

Results External validity was assessed against spontaneous language indices (correlation range: r = .6–.7; all ps < .01) and narrative indices (overall: r = .45, p < .01). Sensitivity (.73) and specificity (.82) of DREAM are moderate to good using a priori judgment as the standard. The values improved to .95 and .82 when spontaneous language and narratives were added to a priori judgment to define typicality. Divergent validity was moderate with nonlinguistic indices.

Conclusion DREAM holds promise as a diagnostic test of Mandarin language impairment for children aged 2;6 to 7;11.

Acknowledgments
We acknowledge the financial support of Bethel Hearing and Speech Training Center for the standardization and the current study. The seventh and last authors were supported with funding (Chinese Ministry of Health Professional Research Fund Grant 201002006) to assist the validity work in the study through Shanghai Children's Medical Center. We thank the linguistics department graduate students and faculty, including the dean, Gang Gu, at Tianjin Normal University and the families and schools throughout China who allowed us to assess their children.
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