Do children with Williams syndrome really have good vocabulary knowledge? Methods for comparing cognitive and linguistic abilities in developmental disorders

Jon Brock*, Christopher Jarrold, Emily K. Farran, Glynis Laws, Deborah M. Riby

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The comparison of cognitive and linguistic skills in individuals with developmental disorders is fraught with methodological and psychometric difficulties. In this paper, we illustrate some of these issues by comparing the receptive vocabulary knowledge and non-verbal reasoning abilities of 41 children with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder in which language abilities are often claimed to be relatively strong. Data from this group were compared with data from typically developing children, children with Down syndrome, and children with non-specific learning difficulties using a number of approaches including comparison of age-equivalent scores, matching, analysis of covariance, and regression-based standardization. Across these analyses children with Williams syndrome consistently demonstrated relatively good receptive vocabulary knowledge, although this effect appeared strongest in the oldest children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)673-688
    Number of pages16
    JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
    Volume21
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

    Keywords

    • Cognitive skills
    • Methodology
    • Receptive vocabulary
    • Williams syndrome

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