Perinatal risk indicators and developmental abilities : examining children with phonological disorders
The purposes of this study were to determine which perinatal risk variables arecorrelated with phonological disorders and to determine how preschoolers' developmental functioning is related to phonological impairment. Subjects were 101 low SES boys (n=46) and girls (n=55) randomly selected from a county Head Start program in north-central Indiana. The mean age of the preschoolers was 65 months. Information about perinatal risks and developmental abilities was obtained from mothers or primary caregivers. Using the Maternal Perinatal Scale (Dean, 1985) and the Bankson Bernthal Test of Phonology (Bankson & Bernthal, 1990), it was found that three moderate inverse correlations existed between perinatal risk items and phonological scores (mothers' weight before pregnancy, the number of pregnancies prior to the birth of the child that resulted in death, and the number of medical conditions experienced by mothers before or during pregnancy). Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that developmental scales of the Minnesota Preschool Inventory (Ireton & Thwing, 1979) significantly accounted for phonological ability in these children, with the scales of Letter Recognition, Self-Help, Expressive Language, and Fine Motor contributing the most unique variance. Implications of these findings are discussed relative to the developmental apraxia of speech debate.