The Diagnostic Accuracy of Two Tense Measures for Identifying 3-Year-Olds with Language Impairment

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Purpose: The authors of this study investigated the diagnostic accuracy of the Finite Verb Morphology Composite (FVMC; Bedore & Leonard, 1998) and the Tense and Agreement Productivity Score (TAPS; Hadley & Short, 2005) in identifying 3-year-olds with language impairment (LI). Method: Eighteen pairs of 3-year-olds with and without LI participated in the current study. The FVMC and the TAPS were computed from 100- and 50-utterance language samples. Results: The FVMC and TAPS demonstrated higher diagnostic accuracy in the 100-utterance samples than in the 50-utterance samples. For 100-utterance samples, when children's age or severity was not considered, the FVMC showed a slight advantage over the TAPS in diagnostic accuracy. However, when children's age or severity was considered, the opposite pattern was observed. Conclusion: Both the FVMC and TAPS can be used to differentiate 3-year-olds with and without LI. To reliably identify 3-year-olds with LI by using tense measures, language samples with at least 100 utterances are recommended.



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