Delayed Early Vocabulary Development in Children at Family Risk of Dyslexia Purpose This study aimed to gain more insight into the relation between vocabulary and reading acquisition by examining early growth trajectories in the vocabulary of children at family risk (FR) of dyslexia longitudinally. Method The sample included 212 children from the Dutch Dyslexia Program with and without an ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 14, 2017
Delayed Early Vocabulary Development in Children at Family Risk of Dyslexia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sietske van Viersen
    University of Amsterdam, Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Elise H. de Bree
    University of Amsterdam, Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Mathilde Verdam
    University of Amsterdam, Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Evelien Krikhaar
    Radboud University, Centre for Language Studies, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Ben Maassen
    Groningen University, Centre for Language and Cognition, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Aryan van der Leij
    University of Amsterdam, Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Peter F. de Jong
    University of Amsterdam, Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 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 Sietske van Viersen: S.vanViersen@uva.nl
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Filip Smolik
    Associate Editor: Filip Smolik×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 14, 2017
Delayed Early Vocabulary Development in Children at Family Risk of Dyslexia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2017, Vol. 60, 937-949. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-16-0031
History: Received January 26, 2016 , Revised June 8, 2016 , Accepted September 14, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2017, Vol. 60, 937-949. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-16-0031
History: Received January 26, 2016; Revised June 8, 2016; Accepted September 14, 2016

Purpose This study aimed to gain more insight into the relation between vocabulary and reading acquisition by examining early growth trajectories in the vocabulary of children at family risk (FR) of dyslexia longitudinally.

Method The sample included 212 children from the Dutch Dyslexia Program with and without an FR. Parents reported on their children's receptive and expressive vocabulary size at ages 17, 23, 29, and 35 months using the Dutch MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories. Dyslexia status at the end of Grade 2 (8 years) rendered 3 groups: FR-dyslexic (n = 51), FR-nondyslexic (n = 92), and typically developing–nondyslexic (TD) children (n = 69).

Results Repeated measures analyses showed that FR-dyslexic children had lower receptive vocabulary scores from 23 months onward and lower expressive scores from 17 months onward than FR-nondyslexic children. Latent growth curve modeling showed lower initial growth rates in FR-dyslexic children, followed by partial recovery, indicating a delayed increase in receptive and expressive vocabulary. FR-nondyslexic and TD children did not differ.

Conclusions Early deficits in receptive and expressive vocabulary are associated with later reading. Early vocabulary growth of FR-dyslexic children is characterized by a delay but not deviance of growth. Vocabulary can be considered an additional risk factor for dyslexia.

Acknowledgments
We thank the DDP parents and children for their contribution to our study. This study was funded by a grant from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
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