Who Receives Speech/Language Services by 5 Years of Age in the United States? Purpose We sought to identify factors predictive of or associated with receipt of speech/language services during early childhood. We did so by analyzing data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; Andreassen & Fletcher, 2005), a nationally representative data set maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. We addressed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2016
Who Receives Speech/Language Services by 5 Years of Age in the United States?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul. L. Morgan
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • George Farkas
    University of California, Irvine
  • Marianne M. Hillemeier
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Steve Maczuga
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Michael Cook
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Stephanie Morano
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • 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 Paul L. Morgan: paulmorgan@psu.edu
  • Carol Scheffner Hammer is now at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
    Carol Scheffner Hammer is now at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY×
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Li Sheng
    Associate Editor: Li Sheng×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2016
Who Receives Speech/Language Services by 5 Years of Age in the United States?
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2016, Vol. 25, 183-199. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0201
History: Received November 19, 2014 , Revised July 31, 2015 , Accepted November 6, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2016, Vol. 25, 183-199. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0201
History: Received November 19, 2014; Revised July 31, 2015; Accepted November 6, 2015

Purpose We sought to identify factors predictive of or associated with receipt of speech/language services during early childhood. We did so by analyzing data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; Andreassen & Fletcher, 2005), a nationally representative data set maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. We addressed two research questions of particular importance to speech-language pathology practice and policy. First, do early vocabulary delays increase children's likelihood of receiving speech/language services? Second, are minority children systematically less likely to receive these services than otherwise similar White children?

Method Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed for a population-based sample of 9,600 children and families participating in the ECLS-B.

Results Expressive vocabulary delays by 24 months of age were strongly associated with and predictive of children's receipt of speech/language services at 24, 48, and 60 months of age (adjusted odds ratio range = 4.32–16.60). Black children were less likely to receive speech/language services than otherwise similar White children at 24, 48, and 60 months of age (adjusted odds ratio range = 0.42–0.55). Lower socioeconomic status children and those whose parental primary language was other than English were also less likely to receive services. Being born with very low birth weight also significantly increased children's receipt of services at 24, 48, and 60 months of age.

Conclusion Expressive vocabulary delays at 24 months of age increase children’s risk for later speech/language services. Increased use of culturally and linguistically sensitive practices may help racial/ethnic minority children access needed services.

Acknowledgment
Funding for this study was provided by the National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Science, U.S. Department of Education (R324A120046). Infrastructure support was provided by the Penn State Population Research Institute, supported by National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant R24HD041025. No official endorsement should thereby be inferred.
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