SRCLD 2022 SRCLD Presentation Details
    A Multi-method Approach to Characterizing Pragmatic Development in Individuals with Down Syndrome  
Michelle Lee - Northwestern University
Lauren Bush - Northwestern University
Gary Martin - St. John's University
Molly Losh - Northwestern University

SRCLD Year: 2016
Presentation Type: Special Session
Presentation Time: (na)
This longitudinal study examined pragmatic language development and related abilities in boys and girls with Down Syndrome (DS), utilizing a multi-method design combining parent report, standardized assessment, and clinical ratings of semi-structured conversational interactions. Controlling for mental age, receptive and expressive vocabulary, and mean length of utterance (MLU), results indicated that across all time points, individuals with DS had greater difficulty than younger typically developing controls on parent-report and standardized measures; however, there were no differences on more detailed ratings of pragmatic violations during semi-naturalistic conversation. Individuals with DS demonstrated gradual improvements in pragmatic language but at a rate slower than controls. Analysis of the semi-naturalistic samples revealed considerable heterogeneity in patterns of change. Mental age, MLU, expressive and receptive vocabulary, theory of mind, and executive functioning correlated with pragmatic abilities, although these relationships varied by sampling context, highlighting the complex profile of skills underlying pragmatic development in DS. Funding for this study was provided by R01 HD038819, R01 HD044935, P30 HD03110.
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