Influence of Context on the Production of Complex Sentences by Typically Developing Children Purpose This study was designed to identify types of complex-sentence meanings (i.e., content) produced in selected elicitation contexts by typically developing children within 3 different age groups. The research was motivated by the need for additional evidence-based assessments and interventions for children with language disorders. Method Participants included ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2010
Influence of Context on the Production of Complex Sentences by Typically Developing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Harriet B. Klein
    New York University, NY
  • Nelson Moses
    Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, NY
  • Rachel Jean-Baptiste
    New York University
  • Contact author: Harriet B. Klein, New York University, Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, 665 Broadway, Suite 928, New York, NY, 10012. E-mail: harriet.klein@nyu.edu.
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2010
Influence of Context on the Production of Complex Sentences by Typically Developing Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2010, Vol. 41, 289-302. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0080)
History: Received July 16, 2008 , Revised February 13, 2009 , Accepted July 2, 2009
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2010, Vol. 41, 289-302. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0080)
History: Received July 16, 2008; Revised February 13, 2009; Accepted July 2, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose This study was designed to identify types of complex-sentence meanings (i.e., content) produced in selected elicitation contexts by typically developing children within 3 different age groups. The research was motivated by the need for additional evidence-based assessments and interventions for children with language disorders.

Method Participants included 3 groups of typically developing children, mean ages 2;8 (years;months; Cohort 1), 3;4 (Cohort 2), and 4;7 (Cohort 3). Four elicitation contexts distinguished on the basis of degree of spontaneity and the potential for eliciting complex sentences were used: free-play, script-play, elicited description, and story retelling. Tasks within these contexts were presented to each child over two 1-hr sessions.

Results Significant differences were found among the cohorts for proportion of complex-sentence productions overall, across contexts, and across content categories. Significant relationships were found between content and contexts and between adult model and content of the child’s following utterance.

Conclusions Findings suggest that children’s complex-sentence production changes with development and is sensitive to features of linguistic and nonlinguistic contexts. These data provide evidence for the types of complex-sentence content that may be expected in specified contexts, thus serving as a basis for planning assessment and intervention for children with language disorders.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by a grant from the Bamford-Lahey Foundation. Reports of this research have been presented at the annual conventions of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2005) and The New York Speech Language and Hearing Association (2006). We are grateful for statistical assistance from John Cardinale, and we thank Sarah Sheridan, Tamar Zamir, Elizabeth McTeague, and Raywah Johnson who assisted with transcriptions and coding. Appreciation is also extended to colleagues who read earlier drafts of the manuscript: Elaine Altman, Christina Reuterskiold, and Cecile Spector. Above all, we thank the children and families who participated in the study.
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