Response time in 14-year-olds with language impairment

Carol A. Miller, Laurence B. Leonard, Robert V. Kail, Xuyang Zhang, J. Bruce Tomblin, David J. Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether children with language impairment were slower than typically developing peers at age 14, and whether slowing, if present, was similar across task domains; whether differences in response time (RT) across domains were the same for children with specific language impairment (SLI) and nonspecific language impairment (NLI); and whether RT performance at age 9 predicted performance at age 14. Method: Fourteen-year-old children with SLI (n = 20), NLI (n = 15), and typical development (NLD; n = 31) were administered several linguistic and nonlinguistic speeded tasks. The children had received the same tasks at age 9. RT performance was examined. Results: Both the SLI and the NLI groups were significantly slower than the NLD group in motor, nonverbal cognitive, and language task domains, and there was no significant difference among domains. Individual analyses showed that most, but not all, children with SLI and NLI were slower than the NLD group mean. Slowing at age 9 and age 14 were moderately correlated. Conclusions: The results suggest that slow RT is a persistent characteristic of many children with language impairment; however, the nature of the relationship between RT and language performance requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-728
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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