Is processing speed related to severity of language impairment?

M. Lahey, J. Edwards, B. Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Children with specific language impairment (SLI) typically respond more slowly on many tasks than do their typically developing peers. This paper addresses the question of whether speed of response is linearly related to severity of language impairment as measured by standardized test score. To address this question, we performed post hoc analyses of data from a study on lexical processing involving 66 children with SLI (mean age 6 years 9 months) and 66 typically developing children matched for age and nonverbal IQ. Response times derived from a series of tasks were correlated with language test scores. None of the Pearson correlations reached significance when corrected for number of correlations run, nor did a canonical correlation analysis reach significance. If these results are replicated in other studies, then they suggest that there is no direct linear relation between speed of processing and severity of language impairment as it is estimated from scores on standardized tests of language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1354-1361
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Language impairment
  • Processing speed
  • SLI


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