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Diagnostic Accuracy of Grammatical Measures (Guo & Schneider, 2016)

journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2022, 23:45 authored by Ling-Yu Guo, Phyllis Schneider
Purpose: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the finite verb morphology composite (FVMC), number of errors per C-unit (Errors/CU), and percent grammatical C-units (PGCUs) in differentiating school-aged children with language impairment (LI) and those with typical language development (TL).
Method: Participants were 61 six-year-olds (50 TL, 11 LI) and 67 eight-year-olds (50 TL, 17 LI). Narrative samples were collected using a story-generation format. FVMC, Errors/CU, and PGCUs were computed from the samples.
Results: All of the three measures showed acceptable to good diagnostic accuracy at age 6, but only PGCUs showed acceptable diagnostic accuracy at age 8 when sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios were considered.
Conclusion: FVMC, Errors/CU, and PGCUs can all be used in combination with other tools to identify school-aged children with LI. However, FVMC and Errors/CU may be an appropriate diagnostic tool up to age 6. PGCUs, in contrast, may be a sensitive tool for identifying children with LI at least up to age 8 years.


The development of the Edmonton Narrative Norms Instrument was supported by a grant from the Children’s Health Foundation of Northern Alberta, awarded to Phyllis Schneider.