ASHA journals
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Young adults with DLD (Dubois et al., 2020)

journal contribution
posted on 2020-10-06, 21:41 authored by Pascale Dubois, Marie-Catherine St-Pierre, Chantal Desmarais, Frédéric Guay
Purpose: Research on developmental language disorder (DLD) in adulthood has increased rapidly in recent years. However, to date, there has been no systematic literature review on this topic, thereby limiting the possibility to have a comprehensive overview of publications in this field.
Method: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we conducted a systematic literature review. A literature search was undertaken in four databases, from 2005 to 2018. We selected articles with original data related to life outcomes of young adults with and without DLD, all aged between 18 and 34 years, in three life areas: education, employment, and independent living. Methodological characteristics of the studies were analyzed.
Results: Fifteen articles were selected with longitudinal designs. In every life area, young adults with DLD were compared to their typically developing peers to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The predictive role of language abilities was also examined.
Conclusions: Outcomes within each life area are heterogeneous. Nevertheless, similarly to young children and adolescents, young adults with DLD face numerous challenges. Although language abilities partly predict some of these outcomes, much of the variance remains unaccounted for and some outcomes are unrelated to this predictor. This systematic literature review has implications for researchers and practitioners to identify promising avenues for research, interventions, and policy development.

Supplemental Material S1. Characteristics of the DLD sample in the longitudinal studies: Origin of the DLD group, the inclusion and exclusion criteria for this group, and the terminology used in the study for the longitudinal studies.

Supplemental Material S2. References of included studies.

Supplemental Material S3. References of excluded studies, classified by reason for exclusion.

Dubois, P., St-Pierre, M.-C., Desmarais, C., & Guay, F. (2020). Young adults with developmental language disorder: A systematic review of education, employment, and independent living outcomes. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.


This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Joseph-Armand-Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships) and the Canada Research Chair on Motivation, Perseverance, and Academic Success.