NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1139429
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Weaknesses in Lexical-Semantic Knowledge among College Students with Specific Learning Disabilities: Evidence from a Semantic Fluency Task
Hall, Jessica; McGregor, Karla K.; Oleson, Jacob
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n3 p640-653 Mar 2017
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine whether deficits in executive function and lexical-semantic memory compromise the linguistic performance of young adults with specific learning disabilities (LD) enrolled in postsecondary studies. Method: One hundred eighty-five students with LD (n = 53) or normal language development (ND, n = 132) named items in the categories "animals" and "food" for 1 minute for each category and completed tests of lexical-semantic knowledge and executive control of memory. Groups were compared on total names, mean cluster size, frequency of embedded clusters, frequency of cluster switches, and change in fluency over time. Secondary analyses of variability within the LD group were also conducted. Results: The LD group was less fluent than the ND group. Within the LD group, lexical-semantic knowledge predicted semantic fluency and cluster size; executive control of memory predicted semantic fluency and cluster switches. The LD group produced smaller clusters and fewer embedded clusters than the ND group. Groups did not differ in switching or change over time. Conclusions: Deficits in the lexical-semantic system associated with LD may persist into young adulthood, even among those who have managed their disability well enough to attend college. Lexical-semantic deficits are associated with compromised semantic fluency, and the two problems are more likely among students with more severe disabilities.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 5R01DC011742