Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stability of language in childhood: A multiage, multidomain, multimeasure, and multisource study.

Developmental Psychology - Vol 46, Iss 4
The stability of language across childhood is traditionally assessed by exploring longitudinal relations between individual language measures. However, language encompasses many domains and varies with different sources (child speech, parental report, experimenter assessment). This study evaluated individual variation in multiple age-appropriate measures of child language derived from multiple sources and stability between their latent variables in 192 young children across more than 2 years. Structural equation modeling demonstrated the loading of multiple measures of child language from different sources on single latent variables of language at ages 20 months and 48 months. A large stability coefficient (r = .84) obtained between the 2 language latent variables. This stability obtained even when accounting for family socioeconomic status, maternal verbal intelligence, education, speech, tendency to respond in a socially desirable fashion, and child social competence. Stability was also equivalent for children in diverse childcare situations and for girls and boys. Across age, from the beginning of language acquisition to just before school entry, aggregating multiple age-appropriate methods and measures at each age and multiple reporters, children show a strong stability of individual differences in general language development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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