Longitudinal Associations Across Prematurity, Attention, and Language in School-Age Children Purpose This research note explores the potential role of attention in mediating previously reported associations between language outcomes and prematurity. Method As a follow-up investigation to Mahurin Smith, DeThorne, Logan, Channell, and Petrill (2014), we employed multilevel modeling to analyze longitudinal data on language and attention collected when ... Research Note
Newly Published
Research Note  |   December 04, 2017
Longitudinal Associations Across Prematurity, Attention, and Language in School-Age Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jamie Mahurin-Smith
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Illinois State University, Normal
  • Laura S. DeThorne
    University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
  • Stephen A. Petrill
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Jamie Mahurin-Smith: j.m.smith@ilstu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Lisa Archibald
    Editor: Lisa Archibald×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Note
Research Note   |   December 04, 2017
Longitudinal Associations Across Prematurity, Attention, and Language in School-Age Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0015
History: Received January 13, 2017 , Revised June 1, 2017 , Accepted August 3, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0015
History: Received January 13, 2017; Revised June 1, 2017; Accepted August 3, 2017

Purpose This research note explores the potential role of attention in mediating previously reported associations between language outcomes and prematurity.

Method As a follow-up investigation to Mahurin Smith, DeThorne, Logan, Channell, and Petrill (2014), we employed multilevel modeling to analyze longitudinal data on language and attention collected when children were, on average, ages of 7, 8, and 10 years. The sample of 114 children taken from the Western Reserve Reading and Math Project was selected to oversample children with a history of prematurity while also controlling for differences in confounding influences such as age, gender, parental education, and race.

Results As predicted, attention differentially predicted language outcomes based on form of measurement. Specifically, parent and examiner ratings of attention were significantly associated with standardized test performance at all 3 time points (R 2 = 15.2%–20%). Associations between attention and language sample measures were less consistent across home visits and tended to be smaller in effect size.

Conclusion Attention abilities are associated with children's language performance even in the absence of an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosis. Clinical implications, particularly as related to assessment, are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by NIHCD Grant HD038075 (awarded to Stephen A. Petrill, PI). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We appreciate the participation of the WRRMP families and the efforts of our research assistants.
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