The Association Between Parental Mean Length of Utterance and Language Outcomes in Children With Disabilities: A Correlational Meta-Analysis Purpose The purpose of this correlational meta-analysis was to examine the association between parental utterance length and language outcomes in children with disabilities and whether this association varies according to other child characteristics, such as age and disability type. This association can serve as a starting point for language intervention ... Review Article
Review Article  |   May 01, 2016
The Association Between Parental Mean Length of Utterance and Language Outcomes in Children With Disabilities: A Correlational Meta-Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Micheal Sandbank
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Paul Yoder
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • 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 Micheal Sandbank; michealpaigesandbank@gmail.com
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Carol Miller
    Associate Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Review Article
Review Article   |   May 01, 2016
The Association Between Parental Mean Length of Utterance and Language Outcomes in Children With Disabilities: A Correlational Meta-Analysis
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2016, Vol. 25, 240-251. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-15-0003
History: Received January 21, 2015 , Revised June 26, 2015 , Accepted September 1, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2016, Vol. 25, 240-251. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-15-0003
History: Received January 21, 2015; Revised June 26, 2015; Accepted September 1, 2015

Purpose The purpose of this correlational meta-analysis was to examine the association between parental utterance length and language outcomes in children with disabilities and whether this association varies according to other child characteristics, such as age and disability type. This association can serve as a starting point for language intervention practices for children with disabilities.

Method We conducted a systematic search of 42 electronic databases to identify relevant studies. Twelve studies reporting on a total of 13 populations (including 257 participants) were identified. A random-effects model was used to estimate a combined effect size across all studies as well as separate effect sizes across studies in each disability category.

Results The combined effect size across all studies suggests a weak positive association between parental input length and child language outcomes. However, subgroup analyses within disability categories suggest that this association may differ for children with autism. Results of 4 studies including 47 children with autism show that parental input length is strongly associated with positive language outcomes in this population.

Conclusions Present evidence suggests that clinicians should reconsider intervention practices that prescribe shorter, grammatically incomplete utterances, particularly when working with children with autism.

Acknowledgments
This article was supported by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) training grant #H325D100034A, awarded to Ann Kaiser.
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