ERIC Number: EJ1040330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Impact of Prematurity on Language Skills at School Age
Smith, Jamie Mahurin; DeThorne, Laura Segebart; Logan, Jessica A. R.; Channell, Ron W.; Petrill, Stephen A.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v57 n3 p901-916 Jun 2014
Purpose: The existing literature on language outcomes in children born prematurely focuses almost exclusively on standardized test scores rather than discourse-level abilities. The authors of this study looked longitudinally at school-age language outcomes and potential moderating variables for a group of twins born prematurely versus a control group of twins born at full term, analyzing both standardized test results and language sample data from the population-based Western Reserve Reading Project (WRRP; Petrill, Deater-Deckard, Thompson, DeThorne, & Schatschneider, 2006). Method: Fifty-seven children born prematurely, at =32 weeks or <1,500 g, were compared with 57 children born at full term and were matched for age, gender, race, and parental education. Data included discourse-level language samples and standardized test results, collected at average ages 7, 8, and 10 years. The language samples were analyzed to yield a number of semantic and syntactic measures that were consolidated via factor analysis. Results: Regression models showed significant differences between the 2 groups for standardized test results, although the mean score for both groups fell in the normal range. For the discourse-level language measures, however, differences never reached statistical significance. Parental education was significantly associated with improved standardized test scores. Conclusions: These findings suggest that in the absence of frank neurological impairment, sophisticated semantic and syntactic skills may be relatively intact in the discourse-level language of children born prematurely. Implications for assessment, particularly the potential role of attention and executive function in standardized testing tasks, are reviewed.
Descriptors: Premature Infants, Language Skills, Longitudinal Studies, Twins, Control Groups, Standardized Tests, Comparative Analysis, Young Children, Age Differences, Semantics, Syntax, Factor Analysis, Regression (Statistics), Statistical Significance, Parent Background, Educational Attainment, Correlation, Scores, Language Acquisition
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A