First Advisor

Mary Gordon-Brannan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Assessment of phonological processes -- Validity, African American children -- Language -- Testing, Articulation disorders in children -- Diagnosis



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, v, 56 p.)


Normal phonological development is characterized by phonological processes in preschool children. These processes are sound error patterns, in relation to the adult target, that are expected within the speech of normally developing children. As children grow older, they "outgrow" these developmental errors. Within the black English dialect, speakers may use a combination of these processes and not be considered phonologically impaired within their linguistic community. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare phonological process usage in the speech of lower socioeconomic black and white preschoolers. The APP-R in conjunction with the CAPP was administered to two groups of 15 children to determine if significant differences exist in the usage of phonological processes between the two groups. Group 1 was comprised of 15 black preschoolers from an inner-city preschool program. Group 2 was comprised of 15 white preschoolers from a Headstart program. All children were identified by their respective speech-language pathologist as having normally developing speech for their linguistic community. Data analysis revealed black preschoolers used phonological processes with a higher frequency than white preschoolers. The phonological process usage mean for the black preschoolers was 4.26% (SD = 1.94) and the mean for the white preschoolers was 1.71% (SD = 2.86). Three of the ten basic processes were determined to be significantly different between the two groups, including: consonant sequence omission, strident deviation, and velar deviation. The results were further examined to determine if either group of preschoolers was identified as needing phonological remediation based on their performance on the APP-R. None of the subjects in either group was identified as needing phonological remediation. In conclusion, results indicated black English speaking preschoolers did use significantly more phonological processes in their speech, however, the APP-R did not identify these children as needing phonological remediation. These results demonstrate the APP-R to be an appropriate assessment tool when evaluating the speech of this Portland black English speaking sample.


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