Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2024 | Viewed by 4411

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Via dei Marsi, 78, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: metalinguistic awareness: theory and tests; bilingualism and second language learning: language in typical and atypical development; figurative language development: theory and testing; neurodevelopmental disorders: assessment and intervention; cognitive and learning profiles in rare genetic syndromes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Psychology, “Niccolò Cusano” University of Rome, Via Don Carlo Gnocchi, 3, 00166 Rome, Italy
2. Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Via dei Marsi, 78, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: language in typical and atypical development; figurative language development: theory and testing; neurodevelopmental disorders: assessment and intervention; cognitive, language and learning profiles in rare genetic syndromes; cognitive developmental neuroscience; child neuropsychology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this special issue on “Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents” we wish to focus on the trajectories of the language profiles from infancy up to adolescence, especially the way these often transform themselves with or without intervention. We will welcome the widest range of linguistic abilities in the main language areas (phonological, morpho-syntactic, lexical-semantic; pragmatic, etc.), either separately or in their reciprocal relationships. For each of these abilities, a special focus on the meta-level, which transforms them into metalinguistic abilities will also be considered as relevant. Finally, we encourage our contributors to submit articles, either research or review articles or case studies, dealing with issues related to early identification, assessment, diagnosis as possible predictors, and interventions.

Prof. Dr. Maria Antonietta Pinto
Prof. Dr. Sergio Melogno
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • developmental language disorder
  • developmental trajectories
  • linguistic and cognitive profiles
  • early identification and diagnosis
  • predictors
  • relationship between assessment and intervention

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

38 pages, 1852 KiB  
Article
Beyond Language Scores: How Language Exposure Informs Assessment of Nonword Repetition, Vocabulary and Narrative Macrostructure in Bilingual Turkish/Swedish Children with and without Developmental Language Disorder
by Linnéa Öberg and Ute Bohnacker
Children 2024, 11(6), 704; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11060704 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 252
Abstract
As in many other countries, baseline data concerning the linguistic development of bilingual children in Sweden are lacking, and suitable methods for identifying developmental language disorder (DLD) in bilinguals are lacking as well. This study presents reference data from 108 typically developing (TD) [...] Read more.
As in many other countries, baseline data concerning the linguistic development of bilingual children in Sweden are lacking, and suitable methods for identifying developmental language disorder (DLD) in bilinguals are lacking as well. This study presents reference data from 108 typically developing (TD) Turkish/Swedish-speaking children aged 4;0–8;1, for a range of language tasks developed specifically for the assessment of bilinguals (LITMUS test battery, COST Action IS0804). We report on different types of nonword repetition (NWR) tasks (language-specific and language-independent), receptive and expressive vocabulary (Cross-Linguistic Lexical Tasks, CLTs), and narrative macrostructure comprehension and production (Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives, MAIN) in Turkish, the children’s home language, and in Swedish, the language of schooling and society. Performance was investigated in relation to age, language exposure, type of task, and (for NWR and narratives) vocabulary size. There was a positive development with age for all tasks, but effects of language exposure and vocabulary size differed between tasks. Six bilingual Turkish/Swedish children with DLD were individually compared to the TD children. TD/DLD performance overlapped substantially, particularly for NWR, and more so for the production than the comprehension tasks. Surprisingly, the discriminatory potential was poor for both language-specific and language-independent NWR. DLD case studies underscored the importance of interpreting language scores in relation to exposure history, and the need for an increased emphasis on functional language skills as reported by parents and teachers when assessing and diagnosing DLD in bilinguals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
21 pages, 549 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Language Background and Parental Education on Measures of Cognitive Ability: An Analysis of the WPPSI-IV Cognitive Profiles of Monolingual, Simultaneous Bilingual, and Sequential Bilingual German Children Aged 4 to 7 Years
by Franziska Walter, Monika Daseking and Franz Pauls
Children 2024, 11(6), 631; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11060631 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Background: The present study investigated the possible effects of language background (monolinguals, simultaneous bilinguals, and sequential bilinguals) and parental education (no/low, medium, high, and highest parental education) on measures of cognitive ability provided by the Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scale—Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV). Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: The present study investigated the possible effects of language background (monolinguals, simultaneous bilinguals, and sequential bilinguals) and parental education (no/low, medium, high, and highest parental education) on measures of cognitive ability provided by the Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scale—Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV). Methods: Statistical analyses were based on a sample of 290 children (130 females, 160 males). Three multivariate variance analyses were conducted to identify possible effects. In cases of statistically significant main effects, post hoc analyses were additionally performed to identify group differences. Results: The results indicated that simultaneous bilinguals performed more similarly to monolinguals than sequential bilinguals. On average, sequential bilinguals achieved significantly lower scores on the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI), the Vocabulary Acquisition Index (VAI), and the associated subtests than monolinguals and simultaneous bilinguals. Significantly lower average scores on VAI and the associated subtests were found for simultaneous bilinguals compared to monolinguals. Children with parents having no, a lower, or a medium educational level achieved significantly lower scores on VCI, VAI, and the FSIQ than children with parents having a high or highest educational level on average. Conclusions: The present findings suggest that the WPPSI-IV represents a suitable and reliable test battery for the assessment of cognitive skills in children with different language backgrounds and parental educational levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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21 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
Indices of Narrative Language Associated with Disability
by Norah M. Almubark, Gabriela Silva-Maceda, Matthew E. Foster and Trina D. Spencer
Children 2023, 10(11), 1815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children10111815 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Narratives skills are associated with long-term academic and social benefits. While students with disabilities often struggle to produce complete and complex narratives, it remains unclear which aspects of narrative language are most indicative of disability. In this study, we examined the association between [...] Read more.
Narratives skills are associated with long-term academic and social benefits. While students with disabilities often struggle to produce complete and complex narratives, it remains unclear which aspects of narrative language are most indicative of disability. In this study, we examined the association between a variety of narrative contents and form indices and disability. Methodology involved drawing 50 K-3 students with Individual Education Programs (IEP) and reported language concerns from a large diverse sample (n = 1074). Fifty typically developing (TD) students were matched to the former group using propensity score matching based on their age, gender, grade, mother’s education, and ethnicity. Narrative retells and generated language samples were collected and scored for Narrative Discourse and Sentence Complexity using a narrative scoring rubric. In addition, the number of different words (NDW), subordination index (SI), and percentage of grammatical errors (%GE) were calculated using computer software. Results of the Mixed effect model revealed that only Narrative Discourse had a significant effect on disability, with no significant effect revealed for Sentence Complexity, %GE, SI, and NDW. Additionally, Narrative Discourse emerged as the sole significant predictor of disability. At each grade, there were performance gaps between groups in the Narrative Discourse, Language Complexity, and SI. Findings suggest that difficulty in Narrative Discourse is the most consistent predictor of disability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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15 pages, 758 KiB  
Article
Implicit Grammatical Gender Representation in Italian Children with Autism without Intellectual/Language Disorder
by Caterina Artuso and Carmen Belacchi
Children 2023, 10(11), 1737; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children10111737 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 862
Abstract
Grammatical language development in individuals with autism (without intellectual/language impairment) is mostly qualitatively comparable to language development in typically developing children of the same age. The majority of tasks used to study grammatical development require explicit performance (use of verbal language). Here, we [...] Read more.
Grammatical language development in individuals with autism (without intellectual/language impairment) is mostly qualitatively comparable to language development in typically developing children of the same age. The majority of tasks used to study grammatical development require explicit performance (use of verbal language). Here, we administered an implicit categorization task (by biological sex) to understand which markers children use to implicitly infer grammatical gender representation in Italian (a gendered language where grammatical gender can be inferred via a determiner and/or word ending). Participants were asked to categorize photos of animals, relying on the names that differed in regard to the grammatical markers involved (i.e., lexical semantic, phonological, syntactic or phonological + syntactic). Children with autism displayed the same patterns observed in typically developing children: the lexical–semantic marker was categorized more accurately, followed in decreasing order by the phonological–syntactic marker and the phonological marker. The syntactic marker was the most difficult to categorize for both groups. In addition, children with autism showed an advantage in grammatical gender representation when using formal/grammatical markers than when using lexical/semantic markers. Such an implicit assessment allows for the investigation of more nuanced linguistic representations other than those expressed by traditional assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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11 pages, 320 KiB  
Article
Assessing Self-Concept in Children (Aged 5–7) with Functional Dyslalia
by Isabel Angustias Gómez Pérez, Carmen del Pilar Gallardo-Montes, Julio Ballesta-Claver and Mᵃ Fernanda Ayllón Blanco
Children 2023, 10(7), 1238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children10071238 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Language not only plays a powerful role in human life, as it is also a crucial factor in our minds. It shapes our personality, memory and even the way in which we see the world, as well as playing a fundamental role in [...] Read more.
Language not only plays a powerful role in human life, as it is also a crucial factor in our minds. It shapes our personality, memory and even the way in which we see the world, as well as playing a fundamental role in the building of self-concept and self-esteem. Having a good self-concept, that is, knowing one’s own qualities and strengths, will, in turn, promote good self-esteem. The aim of this research was to analyze self-concept in 50 children (aged 5–7) with functional dyslalia in the city of Granada (Spain). A quantitative approach was taken, with a non-experimental design; it was descriptive, cross-sectional and correlational. The Perception of Child Self-concept Scale (PCS), a Spanish scale, was used. In general, the children who were interviewed showed a medium level of self-concept. It is noteworthy that differences were found in the average scores on the scale according to the sex of the children, with girls showing a higher level of self-concept than boys. Participants scored higher on Factor 1, family attachment, followed by Factor 3, feelings, with the values of both these factors decreasing with age. On the other hand, lower average scores were found for Factor 2, environment, and Factor 4, autonomy. It was found that self-concept was higher in young children (five-year-old children) as well as in those who studied in rural areas. Finally, guidelines for improvement were provided. Self-concept is a fundamental aspect of personality, but it is not innate; it develops and evolves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Language Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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