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Language-8: Developmental trajectories of childhood language impairment; Understanding the role of behavioral and biological markers - project description

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The overall aim of this project is to expand our knowledge about groups of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).


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Summary

The overall aim of this project is to expand our knowledge about groups of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). We will first characterize cognitive-linguistic skills of Norwegian speaking children at 8 years. We also aim to extend our knowledge about early risk and protective factors, developmental trajectories, co-occurring problems, and etiological mechanisms underlying DLD. Such knowledge is critical to inform early intervention and preventive efforts.

DLD is a prevalent, but still poorly understood neurodevelopmental disorder, affecting 7-10 % of 5 to 8-year old children. Causal mechanisms and developmental trajectories are largely unknown despite significant research efforts. The complexity in expression of the disorder underpins the necessity to study children with DLD classified into groups with different linguistic and cognitive profiles. Few studies globally are suited to form well-described groups of children with DLD with desirable sample sizes. The current project will use data from The Norwegian Mother and Child Study (MoBa). The MoBa study comprises a large population based cohort of mothers and children (n=107,000) with data about health, risk factors, and child functioning from pregnancy and onwards. The MoBa cohort is thus unique in terms of ability to detect adequate numbers of children with developmental disorders.

We will first use questionnaire data from the MoBa to establish a group of 400 8-year olds with DLD and a comparison group of 200 typically developing children.

In study 1 of the project, the children will undergo clinical assessments to identify linguistic and cognitive markers of DLD. In study 2, data from both the MoBa and the clinical assessment will be combined to identify biological, genetic, and behavioural predictors of DLD. Additionally, developmental trajectories of DLD from 18 months to 8 years will be explored.

Due to the very large sample size and the comprehensive measures included, the project has a unique potential to extend our knowledge of DLD-profiles and to broaden our current understanding of core aspects of DLD. Specific objectives:

Study 1 (Clinical data):

1) Identify linguistic and cognitive markers of DLD in 8-year olds.

2) Explore how different language measures cluster in cases and controls and relate the results to the newly proposed DSM criteria, and

3) Examine relationship between different measurements (i.e., clinical assessment, parental report in MoBa and National Testing data form 1st and 2nd grade).

Study 2 (Longitudinal data):

1) Identify early predictors of DLD (i.e., pre-, perinatal factors, family history of DLD, etc.).

2) Identify preverbal and verbal skills that predict DLD at 8 years, and

3) Examine developmental trajectories of language skills before the age of 8 year relating to the proposed criteria DSM-5

See the full project description at Cristin for more information about results, researchers, contact information etc.

Project participants

Project leader

Ragnhild Bang Nes, Avdeling for psykisk helse og selvmord, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Project participants

Fufen Jin, Avdeling for barns helse og utvikling, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Synnve Schjølberg, Avdeling for barns helse og utvikling, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Ragnhild Bang Nes, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
Espen Røysamb, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
Mila Dimitrova Vulchanova, Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Patricia Eadie, University of Melbourne
Mabel Rice, University of Kansas