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ERIC Number: EJ1015654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Shared Etiology of Phonological Memory and Vocabulary Deficits in School-Age Children
Peterson, Robin L.; Pennington, Bruce F.; Samuelsson, Stefan; Byrne, Brian; Olson, Richard K.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v56 n4 p1249-1259 Aug 2013
Purpose: The goal of this study was to investigate the etiologic basis for the association between deficits in phonological memory (PM) and vocabulary in school-age children. Method: Children with deficits in PM or vocabulary were identified within the International Longitudinal Twin Study (ILTS; Samuelsson et al., 2005). The ILTS includes 1,045 twin pairs (between the ages of 5 and 8 years) from the United States, Australia, and Scandinavia. The authors applied the DeFries-Fulker (DeFries & Fulker, 1985, 1988) regression method to determine whether problems in PM and vocabulary tend to co-occur because of overlapping genes, overlapping environmental risk factors, or both. Results: Among children with isolated PM deficits, the authors found significant bivariate heritability of PM and vocabulary weaknesses both within and across time. However, when probands were selected for a vocabulary deficit, there was no evidence for bivariate heritability. In this case, it appears that the PM--vocabulary relationship is caused by common shared environmental experiences. Conclusions: The findings are consistent with previous research on the heritability of specific language impairment and suggest that there are etiologic subgroups of children with low vocabulary for different reasons, 1 being more influenced by genes and another being more influenced by environment. (Contains 5 tables and 1 footnote.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Colorado; Norway; Sweden; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A