Sustained attention in developmental language disorder and its relation to working memory and language

Erin Smolak, Karla K. McGregor, Tim Arbisi-Kelm, Nichole Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Based on evidence of deficits in domain-general cognitive abilities associated with developmental language disorder (DLD), the current study examined sustained attention performance in children with DLD compared to children with typical language development (TLD) and the interrelations between visual–spatial sustained attention, visual–spatial working memory, and language abilities across groups. Method: Participants included 67 children at 7 years of age: 25 children with DLD (13 girls and 12 boys) and 42 children with TLD (23 girls and 19 boys). We assessed children’svisual– spatial sustained attention, visual–spatial working memory, and language ability on a test of narrative language. Result: Children with DLD scored significantly below their peers on a measure of visual–spatial sustained attention. Significant intercorrelations were observed between sustained attention, working memory, and language ability within the DLD group, but no correlations were observed between these measures in the TLD group. Conclusion: Children with DLD have domain-general deficits in sustained attention, and correlational results have implications for whether and how language abilities are supported by domain-general cognition in both typical and disordered development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4096-4108
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume63
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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