Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling to Examine How Individual SLPs Differentially Contribute to Children's Language and Literacy Gains in Public Schools Purpose The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to determine the unique contributions in children's language and literacy gains, over 1 academic year, that are attributable to the individual speech-language pathologist (SLP) and (b) to explore possible child- and SLP-level factors that may further explain SLPs' contributions to children's ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2015
Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling to Examine How Individual SLPs Differentially Contribute to Children's Language and Literacy Gains in Public Schools
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kelly Farquharson
    Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Sherine R. Tambyraja
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Jessica Logan
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Laura M. Justice
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Mary Beth Schmitt
    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock
  • 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 Kelly Farquharson: kyfarq@gmail.com
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Julie Wolter
    Associate Editor: Julie Wolter×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2015
Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling to Examine How Individual SLPs Differentially Contribute to Children's Language and Literacy Gains in Public Schools
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2015, Vol. 24, 504-516. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0055
History: Received April 11, 2014 , Revised September 26, 2014 , Accepted May 25, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2015, Vol. 24, 504-516. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0055
History: Received April 11, 2014; Revised September 26, 2014; Accepted May 25, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to determine the unique contributions in children's language and literacy gains, over 1 academic year, that are attributable to the individual speech-language pathologist (SLP) and (b) to explore possible child- and SLP-level factors that may further explain SLPs' contributions to children's language and literacy gains.

Method Participants were 288 kindergarten and 1st-grade children with language impairment who were currently receiving school-based language intervention from SLPs. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we partitioned the variance in children's gains in language (i.e., grammar, vocabulary) and literacy (i.e., word decoding) that could be attributed to their individual SLP.

Results Results revealed a significant contribution of individual SLPs to children's gains in grammar, vocabulary, and word decoding. Children's fall language scores and grade were significant predictors of SLPs' contributions, although no SLP-level predictors were significant.

Conclusions The present study makes a first step toward incorporating implementation science and suggests that, for children receiving school-based language intervention, variance in child language and literacy gains in an academic year is at least partially attributable to SLPs. Continued work in this area should examine the possible SLP-level characteristics that may further explicate the relative contributions of SLPs.

Acknowledgment
For funding and participant recruitment support, we thank the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Grant R324A090012 (awarded to Laura M. Justice).
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