Comparison of African American Children's Performances on a Minimal Competence Core for Morphosyntax and the Index of Productive Syntax Purpose This study is a response to the need for evidence-based measures of spontaneous oral language to assess African American children under the age of 4 years. We determined if pass/fail status on a minimal competence core for morphosyntax (MCC-MS) was more highly related to scores on the Index of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2016
Comparison of African American Children's Performances on a Minimal Competence Core for Morphosyntax and the Index of Productive Syntax
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ida J. Stockman
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Brandi L. Newkirk-Turner
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Elaina Swartzlander
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Lekeitha R. Morris
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • 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 Ida J. Stockman: stockma1@msu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Laura DeThorne
    Associate Editor: Laura DeThorne×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2016
Comparison of African American Children's Performances on a Minimal Competence Core for Morphosyntax and the Index of Productive Syntax
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2016, Vol. 25, 80-96. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0207
History: Received December 3, 2014 , Revised May 29, 2015 , Accepted November 4, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2016, Vol. 25, 80-96. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0207
History: Received December 3, 2014; Revised May 29, 2015; Accepted November 4, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose This study is a response to the need for evidence-based measures of spontaneous oral language to assess African American children under the age of 4 years. We determined if pass/fail status on a minimal competence core for morphosyntax (MCC-MS) was more highly related to scores on the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn)—the measure of convergent criterion validity—than to scores on 3 measures of divergent validity: number of different words (Watkins, Kelly, Harbers, & Hollis, 1995), Percentage of Consonants Correct–Revised (Shriberg, Austin, Lewis, McSweeney, & Wilson, 1997), and the Leiter International Performance Scale–Revised (Roid & Miller, 1997).

Method Archival language samples for 68 African American 3-year-olds were analyzed to determine MCC-MS pass/fail status and the scores on measures of convergent and divergent validity.

Results Higher IPSyn scores were observed for 60 children who passed the MCC-MS than for 8 children who did not. A significant positive correlation, r pb = .73, between MCC-MS pass/fail status and IPSyn scores was observed. This coefficient was higher than MCC-MS correlations with measures of divergent validity: r pb = .13 (Leiter International Performance Scale–Revised), r pb = .42 (number of different words in 100 utterances), and r pb = .46 (Percentage of Consonants Correct–Revised).

Conclusion The MCC-MS has convergent criterion validity with the IPSyn. Although more research is warranted, both measures can be potentially used in oral language assessments of African American 3-year-olds.

Acknowledgments
The data for this study was supported by the U.S. Office of Education (Grant R305T90023), awarded to Ida J. Stockman. The authors thank the Head Start administrative offices for facilitating data collection in Lansing, Michigan; Lucy McClintic, Sheila Kelly, and Judy Towne; and their Head Start staff. They are grateful to a host of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students at Michigan State University and Jackson State University for their roles in data collection, transcription, and analyses.
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