The Role of Phonological Working Memory and Environmental Factors in Lexical Development in Italian-Speaking Late Talkers: A One-Year Follow-Up Study Purpose This follow-up study assessed (a) the influence of phonological working memory (pWM), home literacy environment, and a family history of linguistic impairments in late talkers (LTs); (b) the diagnostic accuracy of a task of nonword repetition (NWR) in identifying LTs; and (c) the persistence of lexical weaknesses after 10 ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
The Role of Phonological Working Memory and Environmental Factors in Lexical Development in Italian-Speaking Late Talkers: A One-Year Follow-Up Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea Marini
    Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, San Vito al Tagliamento, Pordenone, Italy
    Department of Language and Literatures, Communication, Education and Society, University of Udine, Italy
  • Milena Ruffino
    Child Psychopathology Unit, Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Bosisio Parini, Lecco, Italy
  • Maria Enrica Sali
    Child Psychopathology Unit, Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Bosisio Parini, Lecco, Italy
  • Massimo Molteni
    Child Psychopathology Unit, Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Bosisio Parini, Lecco, Italy
  • 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 Andrea Marini: andrea.marini@uniud.it
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Emma Hayiou-Thomas
    Associate Editor: Emma Hayiou-Thomas×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
The Role of Phonological Working Memory and Environmental Factors in Lexical Development in Italian-Speaking Late Talkers: A One-Year Follow-Up Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-15-0415
History: Received December 1, 2015 , Revised May 31, 2016 , Accepted May 30, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-15-0415
History: Received December 1, 2015; Revised May 31, 2016; Accepted May 30, 2017

Purpose This follow-up study assessed (a) the influence of phonological working memory (pWM), home literacy environment, and a family history of linguistic impairments in late talkers (LTs); (b) the diagnostic accuracy of a task of nonword repetition (NWR) in identifying LTs; and (c) the persistence of lexical weaknesses after 10 months.

Method Two hundred ninety-three children were assessed at approximately 32 (t1) and 41 (t2) months. At t1, they were administered the Italian adaptation of the Language Development Survey, an NWR task (used to assess pWM), and questionnaires assessing home literacy environment and family history of language impairments. Thirty-three LTs were identified. The linguistic skills of the participants were evaluated at t2 by administering tasks assessing Articulation, Naming, Semantic Fluency, and Lexical Comprehension.

Results At t2, LTs performed more poorly as compared with age-matched typically developing peers in articulatory and naming skills, had reduced lexical comprehension abilities, and had limited lexical knowledge. Their performance on the NWR task at t1 correlated with the extension of their vocabularies at t2 (as estimated with a Semantic Fluency task).

Conclusions The Language Development Survey recently adapted to Italian is sensitive to LTs. Former LTs still have a mild lexical delay at approximately 40 months. As an indirect measure of pWM, the task of NWR is an early indicator of future lexical deficits.

Acknowledgments
All phases of this study were supported by the Italian Ministry of Health Centro nazionale per la prevenzione e il Controllo delle Malattie (CCM 2012), which was granted to Dr. Massimo Molteni. We thank Carla Malisani for her help in the phase of data collection.
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