Nonverbal intelligence and English language ability in deaf children

B. U. Watson, P. M. Sullivan, M. P. Moeller, J. K. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The relationship between nonverbal intelligence and English language ability in a sample of 25 deaf children between the ages of 6-10 was examined. Intelligence measures included the Performance Scale of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised and the Hiskey-Nabraska Test of Learning Aptitude. Language measures were the Test of Language Development and the Reynell Development Language Scales. Average correlations of .45 were obtained between nonverbal IQ and the language measures. The average multiple correlation between the individual subsets from the intelligence scales and language scores was .68. Subtests which require visual memory consistently entered the multiple regression equations as the best predictors of language performance. Language performance was attenuated in this sample and did not correlate with chronological age. The finding of significant correlations between nonverbal IQ and English language, in spite of the attenuated language performance, suggests that nonverbal intelligence and visual memory skills, in particular, may be important in understanding the success of some hearing-impaired children in acquiring English and the failure of others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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