First Advisor

Rhea Paul

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Speech Communication




Children -- Language, Slow learning children



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 61 p.)


Language is a major part of a child's early developmental growth. Research examining early language shows a wide variation in the rate of language acquisition and its pattern of development. These variations also exist when language development is delayed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of a relationship between gender and language delay by looking for significant differences in the language skills of 3-year-old boys and girls who were identified as late-talkers (LTs) at the age of 2. Data used for analysis in this study were retrieved from data collected earlier as part of the Portland Language Development Project (PLDP) and a concurring study of late-talking girls. Subjects for this study were drawn from these larger cohorts. The files of all prospective subjects were examined for an expressive vocabulary of less than 50 words at 20-34 months, and for participation in the follow-up evaluation at age 3. Final selection of subjects for this study included 23 boys and 16 girls. Scores from five previously administered assessment measures were compiled for analysis, including the Developmental Sentence Score (DSS), the Expressive OneWord Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT), the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation (GFTA), the Test of Auditory Comprehension of Language-Revised {TACL-R), and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised. These measures were administered as part of the PLOP and the study of late-talking girls. Mean scores for the boys and the girls were computed for each assessment measure. A two-tailed t-test was used to analyze the differences between these mean scores. The results revealed a significant difference, beyond the .05 level of confidence, between the boys' and girls' scores for the EOWPVT. Although no other significant differences were found, it was noted that the boys' scores were consistently higher than the girls' scores on all measures. It was also noted that, on 4 out of 5 assessment measures, a higher percentage of girls did not respond or could not complete the test due to inability to attend. The fifth measure, the PPVT-R, was completed by all subjects.


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