A study of more than 10,000 Norwegian childrenbetween gender and delayed language development, with boys at greater risk of delays than girls.
The study also found that reading and writing difficulties in other family members were associated with delayed language development in children in the same family.
The study was published online in the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. The information was gathered from questionnaires that mothers filled out about their children, from pregnancy until the children were 5.
The researchers divided children with language difficulties into three groups. Those with “persistent” delayed language development included children who showed delays both at ages 3 and 5. Children with “transient” problems only showed difficulty at 3 years old, but not at 5. The third group was children whose language difficulties were diagnosed around age 5. Boys were in the majority in the groups of children with persistent and transient delayed language development. Gender appeared to play no role in the group of children whose language delays were diagnosed at age 5.
A version of this article appeared in the March 05, 2014 edition of Education Week as Language Problems