Predictors of receptive and expressive vocabulary development in children with Down syndrome

<p><i>Purpose</i>: There is a lack of longitudinal data on predictors of vocabulary development in children with Down syndrome (DS). In typically developing children, many internal and external predictors of vocabulary development have been determined before. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of these variables in the receptive and expressive vocabulary development of children with DS.</p> <p><i>Method</i>: The present study used a longitudinal design in young children with DS to study the vocabulary development over a period of 1.6 years and investigated the possible predictive role of child-related and environmental variables.</p> <p><i>Result</i>: Receptive vocabulary development was best predicted by the adaptive level of functioning and early receptive vocabulary skills. Expressive vocabulary development was best predicted by the adaptive level of functioning, receptive vocabulary, maternal educational level, level of communicative intent of the child, attention skills and phonological/phonemic awareness.</p> <p><i>Conclusion</i>: A wide range of internal and external predictors for vocabulary development of children with DS was found. Predictors resemble those predicting vocabulary development in peers with typical development between 1 and 6 years of age, as identified in other studies.</p>