Nonword Repetition and Language Outcomes in Young Children Born Preterm Purpose The aims of this study were to examine phonological short-term memory in children born preterm (PT) and to explore relations between this neuropsychological process and later language skills. Method Children born PT (n = 74) and full term (FT; n = 60) participated in a nonword repetition ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 17, 2018
Nonword Repetition and Language Outcomes in Young Children Born Preterm
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa D. Gresch
    Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Virginia A. Marchman
    Department of Psychology, Stanford University, CA
  • Elizabeth C. Loi
    Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Anne Fernald
    Department of Psychology, Stanford University, CA
  • Heidi M. Feldman
    Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • 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 Virginia A. Marchman: marchman@stanford.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Lizbeth Finestack
    Editor: Lizbeth Finestack×
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 17, 2018
Nonword Repetition and Language Outcomes in Young Children Born Preterm
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2018, Vol. 61, 1203-1215. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0217
History: Received June 5, 2017 , Revised September 12, 2017 , Accepted January 22, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2018, Vol. 61, 1203-1215. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0217
History: Received June 5, 2017; Revised September 12, 2017; Accepted January 22, 2018

Purpose The aims of this study were to examine phonological short-term memory in children born preterm (PT) and to explore relations between this neuropsychological process and later language skills.

Method Children born PT (n = 74) and full term (FT; n = 60) participated in a nonword repetition (NWR) task at 36 months old. Standardized measures of language skills were administered at 36 and 54 months old. Group differences in NWR task completion and NWR scores were analyzed. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses examined the extent to which NWR ability predicted later performance on language measures.

Results More children born PT than FT did not complete the NWR task. Among children who completed the task, the performance of children born PT and FT was not statistically different. NWR scores at 36 months old accounted for significant unique variance in language scores at 54 months old in both groups. Birth group did not moderate the relation between NWR and later language performance.

Conclusions These findings suggest that phonological short-term memory is an important skill underlying language development in both children born PT and FT. These findings have relevance to clinical practice in assessing children born PT.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by a research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD069150) awarded to Dr. Heidi Feldman and Dr. Anne Fernald. We would like to thank Katherine Adams, Melanie Ashland, the staff of the Language Learning Lab at Stanford University, and the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics lab at the Stanford University School of Medicine for their support. We would also like to thank the children and families who participated in this study.
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