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Does Inattention and Hyperactivity Moderate the Relation Between Speed of Processing and Language Skills?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Debbie Gooch, Claire Sears, Harriet Maydew, George Vamvakas, Courtenay F. Norbury

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e565-e583
JournalChild Development
Issue number5
Early online date9 Feb 2019
E-pub ahead of print9 Feb 2019
Published1 Sep 2019


King's Authors


The causal role of speed of processing (SOP) in developmental language disorder (DLD) is unclear given that SOP has been implicated in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This study investigated associations between SOP, language, and inattention/hyperactivity in a U.K. epidemiological cohort (N = 528). Monolingual children from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds were assessed longitudinally; at ages 5–6 (2012/2013) and 7–8 years (2014/2015). Persistent weaknesses in SOP characterized children with DLD but did not predict language longitudinally. Ratings of inattention/hyperactivity moderated the association between SOP and language, indicating that SOP deficits are particularly detrimental for language when coupled with poor attention/hyperactivity. SOP may be a shared risk factor for DLD and inattention/hyperactivity or a general marker of neurodevelopmental disorder.

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