Cognitive Predictors of Spoken Word Recognition in Children With and Without Developmental Language Disorders Purpose This study examined the influence of cognitive factors on spoken word recognition in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) and typically developing (TD) children. Method Participants included 234 children (aged 7;0–11;11 years;months), 117 with DLD and 117 TD children, propensity matched for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 19, 2018
Cognitive Predictors of Spoken Word Recognition in Children With and Without Developmental Language Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julia L. Evans
    School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas-Dallas, Richardson
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    Communication Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan
  • James W. Montgomery
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, Ohio University, Athens
  • 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 Julia L. Evans: jle130030@utdallas.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Lisa Archibald
    Editor: Lisa Archibald×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 19, 2018
Cognitive Predictors of Spoken Word Recognition in Children With and Without Developmental Language Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2018, Vol. 61, 1409-1425. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0150
History: Received April 20, 2017 , Revised September 15, 2017 , Accepted February 5, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2018, Vol. 61, 1409-1425. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0150
History: Received April 20, 2017; Revised September 15, 2017; Accepted February 5, 2018

Purpose This study examined the influence of cognitive factors on spoken word recognition in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) and typically developing (TD) children.

Method Participants included 234 children (aged 7;0–11;11 years;months), 117 with DLD and 117 TD children, propensity matched for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and maternal education. Children completed a series of standardized assessment measures, a forward gating task, a rapid automatic naming task, and a series of tasks designed to examine cognitive factors hypothesized to influence spoken word recognition including phonological working memory, updating, attention shifting, and interference inhibition.

Results Spoken word recognition for both initial and final accept gate points did not differ for children with DLD and TD controls after controlling target word knowledge in both groups. The 2 groups also did not differ on measures of updating, attention switching, and interference inhibition. Despite the lack of difference on these measures, for children with DLD, attention shifting and interference inhibition were significant predictors of spoken word recognition, whereas updating and receptive vocabulary were significant predictors of speed of spoken word recognition for the children in the TD group.

Conclusion Contrary to expectations, after controlling for target word knowledge, spoken word recognition did not differ for children with DLD and TD controls; however, the cognitive processing factors that influenced children's ability to recognize the target word in a stream of speech differed qualitatively for children with and without DLDs.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant (R01 DC010883) from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We express our gratitude to all the children and their parents who participated in this project. We also thank Hanna Gelfand, Jenny Boyden, Andrea Fung, Erin Burns, Beula Magimairaj, Naveen Nagaraj, Katie Squires, and Allison Hancock for their invaluable assistance during various phases of this study.
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