Characteristics of parent-child interactions: A systematic review of studies comparing children with primary language impairment (PLI) and their typically developing peers.

TitleCharacteristics of parent-child interactions: A systematic review of studies comparing children with primary language impairment (PLI) and their typically developing peers.
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2013
AuthorsBlackwell, A, Harding, SA, Babayigit, S, Roulstone, S
Conference NameCogDev (BPS)
Date Published09/2013
Conference LocationReading University
Abstract

Background: The importance of parent-child interaction (PCI) for language development has been well established. Studies have suggested that PCI is different with children with PLI compared to typically developing (TD) peers. Many language interventions exploit PCI strategies found to be positively associated with TD language. However, study results are mixed. The Bristol research programme ‘Child Talk - What Works’ is currently exploring the effectiveness of interventions for preschool children. In association with this programme the current review examined research into PCI differences for children with PLI.
Aims: To compare PCI, observed in naturally occurring contexts, with children with PLI and control children matched on age or language levels.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature searched 10 databases for studies using a case-control design. Potentially relevant papers had data extracted concerning participants, matching, selection, design, assessments, measures, findings, statistics and bias. Quality appraisal used the case-control CASP checklist.
Results: 17824 papers were identified and reviewed against exclusion criteria. The final review included nine papers, heterogeneous regarding matching, PLI criteria and PCI measures. A narrative synthesis was therefore conducted. The evidence for PCI differences was limited and any suggestion that parents were less responsive could generally be attributed to limited language skills of children with PLI. However, findings came from a small sample of children from middle class families.
Discussion: There was limited evidence for group differences in PCI, questioning the assumption that communicative environments of children with PLI are different. However, comparisons with speech and language therapy (SLT) studies suggest that children with PLI may benefit from modifying features typical of this environment. The review highlights the significant gap in understanding the relationship between PCI and child language. The need for further, longitudinal research is emphasised, which should include children with a range of delay severity, across different SES backgrounds.