Sample Length Affects the Reliability of Language Sample Measures in 3-Year-Olds: Evidence From Parent-Elicited Conversational Samples Purpose The goal of this study was to investigate the extent to which sample length affected the reliability of total number of words (TNW), number of different words (NDW), and mean length of C-units in morphemes (MLCUm) in parent-elicited conversational samples for 3-year-olds. Method Participants were sixty 3-year-olds. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2015
Sample Length Affects the Reliability of Language Sample Measures in 3-Year-Olds: Evidence From Parent-Elicited Conversational Samples
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ling-Yu Guo
    University at Buffalo, NY
  • Sarita Eisenberg
    Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Ling-Yu Guo: lingyugu@buffalo.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: LaVae Hoffman
    Associate Editor: LaVae Hoffman×
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2015
Sample Length Affects the Reliability of Language Sample Measures in 3-Year-Olds: Evidence From Parent-Elicited Conversational Samples
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2015, Vol. 46, 141-153. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0052
History: Received May 6, 2014 , Revised July 17, 2014 , Accepted December 18, 2014
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2015, Vol. 46, 141-153. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0052
History: Received May 6, 2014; Revised July 17, 2014; Accepted December 18, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The goal of this study was to investigate the extent to which sample length affected the reliability of total number of words (TNW), number of different words (NDW), and mean length of C-units in morphemes (MLCUm) in parent-elicited conversational samples for 3-year-olds.

Method Participants were sixty 3-year-olds. A 22-min language sample was collected from each child during free play with the parent in the laboratory. Samples of 1, 3, 7, and 10 min were extracted from the 22-min samples. TNW, NDW, and MLCUm were computed from each shorter sample and the 22-min sample. TNW and NDW were adjusted by number of minutes for comparisons. The differences and correlations between each shorter sample cut and the 22-min sample on MLCUm and adjusted TNW and NDW were computed.

Results The shorter samples and the 22-min samples significantly differed in adjusted TNW and NDW, but not in MLCUm. TNW reached an acceptable reliability level (i.e., r = .90) in 7-min samples. NDW and MLCUm approached the acceptable reliability level (rs = .88) in 7-min samples and reached it in 10-min samples.

Conclusion For conversational language samples with similar collection procedures, samples of 7 to 10 min are desirable for calculating TNW, NDW, and MLCUm in 3-year-olds.

Acknowledgments
This project was supported by a Language Learning Research Grant (from Blackwell Publishing) awarded to Ling-Yu Guo and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grant R21DC009218 awarded to Sarita Eisenberg. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of Blackwell Publishing, NIDCD, or the National Institutes of Health. We are grateful to the children who participated as well as to their parents who allowed them to participate, and to the research assistants who collected and transcribed the samples. We also thank Yow-wu Bill Wu for statistical consultation and Amy Briggs and Sanjana Nair for data analysis. Portions of this study were presented as part of a poster session at the 2013 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Chicago, Illinois.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access