Case History Risk Factors for Specific Language Impairment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Purpose Research suggests that the best approach to early identification of children with specific language impairment (SLI) should include assessment of risk factors. However, previous attempts to develop a list for this purpose have been unsuccessful. In this study, systematic review and meta-analytic procedures were used to determine whether any ... Review Article
Review Article  |   August 15, 2017
Case History Risk Factors for Specific Language Impairment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanna M. Rudolph
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Johanna Rudolph: johanna.rudolph@utdallas.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Laura DeThorne
    Associate Editor: Laura DeThorne×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Review Articles
Review Article   |   August 15, 2017
Case History Risk Factors for Specific Language Impairment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 991-1010. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0181
History: Received November 18, 2015 , Revised May 13, 2016 , Accepted December 13, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 991-1010. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0181
History: Received November 18, 2015; Revised May 13, 2016; Accepted December 13, 2016

Purpose Research suggests that the best approach to early identification of children with specific language impairment (SLI) should include assessment of risk factors. However, previous attempts to develop a list for this purpose have been unsuccessful. In this study, systematic review and meta-analytic procedures were used to determine whether any case history factors can be used to identify toddlers at risk of developing SLI.

Method Epidemiological studies that examined the association between risk factors and SLI were identified. Results across studies were aggregated to determine more precisely the strength of association between each risk factor and the development of SLI. The clinical significance of these factors was established via comparison to late talker status.

Results Eleven risk factors were found to be statistically significant predictors of SLI. Among these, maternal education level, 5-min Apgar score, birth order, and biological sex met criteria for clinical significance.

Conclusions At least 4 case history factors are as predictive as late talker status in the context of early identification of toddlers at risk for SLI. The findings of this review highlight the importance of taking a child's genetic and environmental context into consideration when deciding whether further evaluation and early intervention services are warranted.

Supplemental Materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5150122

Acknowledgments
Many thanks to Dr. Christine Dollaghan for reviewing drafts of this article and providing insightful recommendations and helpful comments. Thanks also to Jennifer King, Mariam Kavakci, and Simone Crotteau for performing reliability during the reference evaluation and data extraction phases of this review.
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