Nonword repetition performance in school-age children with and without language impairment

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2000 Aug;43(4):865-78. doi: 10.1044/jslhr.4304.865.


This study examined nonword repetition performance in a population-based sample of school-age children. A total of 581 second graders who were participating in a longitudinal, epidemiologic investigation of specific language impairment (SLI) were administered the Nonword Repetition Task (NRT) developed by Dollaghan & Campbell (1998). Performance was examined according to second-grade diagnostic category, presence/absence of language impairment, and treatment status. Results indicated that children with language impairment, as well as those in intervention, exhibited deficient nonword repetition skills compared to normal language controls. Findings also confirmed that the NRT is a culturally nonbiased measure of language processing. Results from likelihood ratio analyses indicated that NRT performance, though not sufficient on its own, may provide a useful index to assist in ruling in or ruling out language disorder.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Language Disorders / epidemiology
  • Language Disorders / therapy
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Phonetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Speech*
  • Verbal Behavior*