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ERIC Number: EJ944800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Taxometric Analyses of Specific Language Impairment in 6-Year-Old Children
Dollaghan, Christine A.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v54 n5 p1361-1371 Oct 2011
Purpose: To determine whether language scores at age 6 years suggest that specific language impairments (SLIs) distribute in a categorical or in a dimensional fashion. Method: A taxometric analysis of language scores from 601 six-year-old children who were free of neonatal risk factors was performed. From among 4 candidate indicators of SLI, 2 were eligible for the mean above minus below a cut (MAMBAC) procedure (Meehl & Yonce, 1994): number of different words (NDW) produced in a language sample and average percentage phonemes repeated correctly in 3- and 4-syllable nonwords (3-4 PPC). Graphs of these MAMBAC variables were inspected to determine whether they patterned in a manner suggesting the presence of a discrete category, having either a central peak or a steep curve peaking near the final interval. Results: MAMBAC curves for NDW and 3-4 PPC did not suggest the presence of a taxon, and results did not vary during consistency checks in which MAMBAC parameters and cutoff values for language deficits were manipulated. Conclusions: Results suggest that for these measures, children with specific language deficits are those falling at the lower end of a continuous distribution of language skills rather than a qualitatively distinct group.
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