Children with differing developmental trajectories of prelinguistic communication skills: Language and working memory at age 5
Määttä, S., Laakso, M.-L., Tolvanen, A., Ahonen, T., & Aro, T. (2014). Children with differing developmental trajectories of prelinguistic communication skills: Language and working memory at age 5. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57 (3), 1026-1039. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0012
Published inJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
© American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Purpose: This paper examines the developmental continuity from prelinguistic communication to kindergarten age in language and working memory capacity. Method: Following our work outlining six groups of children with different trajectories of Early Communication Development (ECD, Määttä et al., 2012), we examined their later development by psychometric assessment. Ninety-one children first assessed at age 12 to 21 months completed a battery of language and working memory tests at age 5;3 (years; months). Results: Two of the ECD groups previously identified as being at risk for language difficulties continued to show weaker performance at follow-up. The majority (79 %) of the children with compromised language skills at follow-up were identified on the basis of the ECD groups, but the number of false positives was high. The two at-risk groups also differed significantly from the typically developing groups in the measures tapping working memory capacity. Conclusions: In line with the dimensional view of language impairment, the accumulation of early delays predicted the amount of later difficulties; however, at the individual level the prediction had rather low specificity. The results imply a strong link between language and working memory and call for further studies examining the early developmental interaction between language and memory. ...