posted on 2022-02-23, 05:09authored byLaura J. Pauls, Lisa M. D. Archibald
Purpose: Mounting evidence demonstrates deficits in
children with specific language impairment (SLI) beyond
the linguistic domain. Using meta-analysis, this study
examined differences in children with and without SLI on
tasks measuring inhibition and cognitive flexibility.
Method: Databases were searched for articles comparing
children (4–14 years) with and without SLI on behavioral
measures of inhibition or cognitive flexibility. Weighted
average effect size was calculated using multilevel modeling
to measure potential group differences.
Results: The analysis included 46 studies. Of those,
34 included inhibitory control measures and 22 included
cognitive flexibility tasks. Children with SLI performed
below same-aged peers on both inhibitory control tasks
(g = −.56) and cognitive flexibility tasks (g = −.27).
Moderator analyses showed no effect of linguistic
task demands, participant age, or severity of language
impairment on the degree of difference between children
with SLI and controls on measures of inhibitory control.
Conclusion: Reliable differences between children with and
without SLI were found on inhibition and cognitive flexibility
tasks. A moderate group effect was found for inhibition
tasks, but there was only a small effect for cognitive
flexibility tasks. Results of moderator analyses suggest that
these deficits are present throughout development despite
task demands or severity of linguistic impairment.