Diagnostic accuracy and test-retest reliability of nonword repetition and digit span tasks administered to preschool children with specific language impairment

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Abstract

To assess diagnostic accuracy and test-retest reliability, two forms of a nonword repetition task were administered to 22 preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) and to 22 age- and gender-matched children with normal language (NL). Results were compared with performance on a digit span task and norm-referenced test scores. Nonword repetition scores provided excellent sensitivity and specificity for discriminating between groups. Scores on both nonword repetition and digit span tasks improved significantly from first to second administrations for both groups, but remained relatively stable at the third administration. The SLI group appeared to benefit more from repetition than the NL group. Acceptable levels of test-retest reliability were achieved for the digit span task, but not for the NL group on the nonword repetition task. These preliminary findings suggest that with further refinement to improve test-retest reliability, nonword repetition holds promise as a diagnostic measure for SLI in preschool children. Educational objectives: As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to (1) describe the content and administration of nonword repetition tasks; (2) explain why evidence of test-retest reliability is necessary before a measure may be considered reliable for diagnostic purposes; and (3) accurately compare the sensitivity and specificity of the nonword repetition task utilized in this study to standardized language test scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-151
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

Fingerprint

Preschool Children
preschool child
Routine Diagnostic Tests
Reproducibility of Results
diagnostic
Language
language
language group
Language Tests
Sensitivity and Specificity
Group
Preschool children
Nonword Repetition
Test-retest Reliability
Diagnostic Accuracy
Specific Language Impairment
Digit Span
gender
performance
evidence

Keywords

  • Nonword repetition
  • Preschoolers
  • Specific language impairment
  • Test-retest reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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abstract = "To assess diagnostic accuracy and test-retest reliability, two forms of a nonword repetition task were administered to 22 preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) and to 22 age- and gender-matched children with normal language (NL). Results were compared with performance on a digit span task and norm-referenced test scores. Nonword repetition scores provided excellent sensitivity and specificity for discriminating between groups. Scores on both nonword repetition and digit span tasks improved significantly from first to second administrations for both groups, but remained relatively stable at the third administration. The SLI group appeared to benefit more from repetition than the NL group. Acceptable levels of test-retest reliability were achieved for the digit span task, but not for the NL group on the nonword repetition task. These preliminary findings suggest that with further refinement to improve test-retest reliability, nonword repetition holds promise as a diagnostic measure for SLI in preschool children. Educational objectives: As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to (1) describe the content and administration of nonword repetition tasks; (2) explain why evidence of test-retest reliability is necessary before a measure may be considered reliable for diagnostic purposes; and (3) accurately compare the sensitivity and specificity of the nonword repetition task utilized in this study to standardized language test scores.",
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author = "Shelley Gray",
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