Processing predictors of severity of speech sound disorders
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
This study investigated whether or not variability in the severity of speech sound disorders is related to variability in phonological short-term memory and/or variability in the accuracy of phonological representations. The aim was to determine speech processing predictors of severity of speech sound disorders. A total of 33 children, aged three to six years of age, were assessed on measures of nonword repetition, accuracy of phonological representations, accuracy of speech production, and language. The tests administered included the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Preschool – 2 Australian, the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology, the Nonword Repetition Test (modified), and the Phonological Representation Judgement Task (modified). The relationships between the results of these tests were established using a correlation analysis. The relationship between accuracy of phonological representations and the percentage of consonants correct was found to be mediated by language. There was no significant relationship between nonword repetition and percentage consonants correct. These findings may have been the result of small sample size, age of the participants, or co-morbid language difficulties. These findings imply that variability in severity of speech sound disorders may be related to a variable not directly assessed in this study. This variable may be a constraint relating to the stored motor programs within children’s speech processing systems. Implications for future research are discussed.