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J Speech Hear Res. 1991 Oct;34(5):1150-7.

Family history in developmental expressive language delay.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, SUNY, Stony Brook 11794.


Familial aggregation of language deficits has been demonstrated in previous studies. However, researchers have typically failed to differentiate subgroups of language-impaired children. The present study used questionnaire data to assess the family history of speech, language, and school problems in a group of young children with developmental expressive language delay (ELD) and in a sample of normally developing children. In contrast to previous studies of language and speech problems, no strong familial component of ELD was found. Further, family history was not predictive of later language development in ELD children. These findings argue against genetic and familial causes of ELD and attest to the importance of differentiating subtypes of early language problems.

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