Authors: Leonard LB, Camarata SM, Pawlowska M, Brown B, Camarata MN
Title: Tense and agreement morphemes in the speech of children with specific language impairment during intervention: phase 2
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2006 49(4): 749-770
Year: 2006
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 03/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - N
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

PURPOSE: The goals of this investigation were to determine whether treatment assists children with specific language impairment (SLI) in the use of grammatical morphemes that mark tense and agreement and whether treatment gains influence the children's use of other, untreated morphemes. METHOD: Twenty-five children with SLI participated in 96 intervention sessions designed to facilitate the children's use of third-person singular -s or auxiliary is/are/was. RESULTS: The children showed significantly larger gains on the target forms than on control forms (e.g., past tense -ed) that were monitored but not included in intervention. Along with possible treatment-related generalization across morpheme types, there was also evidence of one morpheme type influencing another when neither was the target of intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Although the results provide clear evidence for intervention effects, it appeared as if maturational factors also played a role. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for treatment and for characterizing development in SLI.

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