Relationship between parental report of language skills and children's performance among 3-year-olds: Implications for screening language among preschoolers

Adhirai Garibaldi, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Jayashree S. Bhat, Prakash Boominathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The study compared parental ratings of children's language abilities at 3-years of age with observations of children's language performance by Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs). Method: Children (n=85) around 3-years of age were recruited from a child development clinic. Detailed speech and language assessments were completed during a one-hour semi-structured clinician-child interactive session. Language assessment was carried out using a criterion-referenced checklist and the language sections of the Bayley Scale for Infant Development- 3rd Edition (BSID-III). All parents rated their children's language skills using seven statements related to reception and expression domains of language on a 7-point rating scale. The language status of the child (typical language vs delay) determined by the parental report was matched with the language status as per the child's performance during the SLP assessment. Results and discussion: Mean parental ratings of children assessed as having language delay by an SLP were significantly lower than children with typical language. Total parental rating score correlated highly with overall language scores on BSID-III; the highest correlation was observed for ratings of statements related to expressive language skills focusing on formation of sentences. Parental report of below normal performance on any one of the seven statements demonstrated acceptable sensitivity (0.95) and a high negative predictive value (0.98) with the child's performance as the gold standard. Conclusion: Parental ratings of language skills correlated with child's performance at 3-years of age with a higher agreement for identifying children with delays. Parental reports can be useful to red-flag children for further assessment and continued monitoring of language development in busy developmental clinics and preschools, especially in the context of low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110943
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Publication statusPublished - 12-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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