A1 Journal article – refereed

Generalized Slowing Rather Than Inhibition Is Associated With Language Outcomes in Both Late Talkers and Children With Typical Early Development

List of Authors: Anna Kautto, Eira Jansson-Verkasalo, Elina Mainela-Arnold

Publisher: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Journal acronym: JSLHR

Volume number: 64

Issue number: 4

eISSN: 1558-9102

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00523


Purpose: While most of the children who are identified as
late talkers at the age of 2 years catch up with their peers
before school age, some continue to have language difficulties
and will later be identified as having developmental language
disorder. Our understanding of which children catch up and
which do not is limited. The aim of the current study was to
find out if inhibition is associated with late talker outcomes at
school age.

Method: We recruited 73 school-aged children (ages 7–
10 years) with a history of late talking (n = 38) or typical
development (n = 35). Children completed measures of
language skills and a flanker task to measure inhibition.
School-age language outcome was measured as a continuous

Results: Our analyses did not reveal associations between
inhibition and school-age language index or history of late
talking. However, stronger school-age language skills were associated with shorter overall response times on
the flanker task, in both congruent and incongruent trials.
This effect was not modulated by history of late talking,
suggesting that a relationship between general response
times and language development is similar in both
children with typical early language development and
late talkers.

Conclusions: Inhibition is not related to late talker
language outcomes. However, children with better
language outcomes had shorter general response
times. We interpret this to reflect differences in general
processing speed, suggesting that processing speed
holds promise for predicting school-age language
outcomes in both late talkers and children with typical
early development.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 09:36