Diagnostic Accuracy of the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test Third Edition (SPELT-3) Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
Diagnostic Accuracy of the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kristen Perona
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Elena Plante
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Rebecca Vance
    University of Arizona, Tucson
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
Diagnostic Accuracy of the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2005, Vol. 36, 103-115. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/010)
History: Received November 24, 2003 , Revised March 1, 2004 , Accepted July 14, 2004
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2005, Vol. 36, 103-115. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/010)
History: Received November 24, 2003; Revised March 1, 2004; Accepted July 14, 2004

Purpose: This study examined the empirical evidence for using the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test: Third Edition (SPELT-3; Dawson, Stout, & Eyer, 2003) to diagnose language impairment in preschool children. The SPELT-3 is a revision of the SPELT-II (Werner & Kresheck, 1983), which has been proven in the past to have high levels of discriminant accuracy in identifying preschoolers with language impairment.

Method: Forty-two 4- and 5-year-old children with a specific language impairment (SLI) and 43 children with typically developing (TD) language abilities were studied to determine the classification accuracy and other aspects of validity for the SPELT-3.

Results: Results from both an exploratory and a confirmatory sample indicated 90% sensitivity and 100% specificity when a cutoff standard score of 95 was applied to the data. In addition, use of the SPELT-3 was supported by additional data on convergent and divergent aspects of validity.

Implications: The data provide empirical support for the use of the SPELT-3 for the purpose of differentiating between children with normal language and those with impaired language.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was supported by Grant R01 DC04726 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Copies of the SPELT—3 were provided to the authors by Janelle Publications for this study.
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