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Appl Neuropsychol Child. 2017 Oct 12:1-16. doi: 10.1080/21622965.2017.1378579. [Epub ahead of print]

Measurement of expressive vocabulary in school-age children: Development and application of the Kilifi Naming Test (KNT).

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a African Population and Health Research Center , Nairobi , Kenya.
b School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal , Durban , South Africa.
c KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme , Kilifi , Kenya.
f School of Public Health Medicine , University of KwaZulu-Natal , Durban , South Africa.
d Department of Psychology , Lancaster University , Lancaster , United Kingdom.
e Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine , Case Western Reserve University , Cleveland , OH , USA.


The dearth of locally developed measures of language makes it difficult to detect language and communication problems among school-age children in sub-Saharan African settings. We sought to describe variability in vocabulary acquisition as an important element of global cognitive functioning. Our primary aims were to establish the psychometric properties of an expressive vocabulary measure, examine sources of variability, and investigate the measure's associations with non-verbal reasoning and educational achievement. The study included 308 boys and girls living in a predominantly rural district in Kenya. The developed measure, the Kilifi Naming Test (KNT), had excellent reliability and acceptable convergent validity. However, concurrent validity was not adequately demonstrated. In the final regression model, significant effects of schooling and area of residence were recorded. Contextual factors should be taken into account in the interpretation of test scores. There is need for future studies to explore the concurrent validity of the KNT further.


Contextual factors; Kilifi Naming Test; expressive vocabulary; reliability; resource-limited settings; school-age children

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