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Cognitive and linguistic development in children: effects of the pathology and of the environment

Grant number: 10/09185-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2010
Effective date (End): August 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Débora Maria Befi-Lopes
Grantee:Marina Leite Puglisi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The diagnostic criterion of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) requires the existence of poor performance on language measures without intellectual and/or other potential primary problems. Recent studies, however, have shown that mild cognitive difficulties, usually accessed by tasks that tap the executive functions, can also compose SLI's symptomatology. Besides the biological aspects, there is scientific evidence showing that environmental characteristics (enriched or unsatisfactory stimulation from the initial developmental stages) also influence cognitive and linguistic development. From this perspective, growing up in disadvantageous socio-economic conditions might constitute a risk for child development, since the quality of cognitive and linguistic stimulation that a child receives depends somehow on their Socio-Economic Status (SSE). This project aims to explore the effects of SLI and SSE on children's cognitive and linguistic abilities. A battery of tasks covering three different executive areas (working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility) and two language domains (lexicon and syntax), among other tests, will be administered in a sample of 145 seven- and nine-year-old children. This group will be comprised of approximately 120 normally developing children (equally distributed among SSE) and 25 SLI children. The main hypothesis of this study is that SLI effects on cognitive and linguistic performance will be stronger than SSE effects. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE ABREU, PASCALE M. J. ENGEL; BALDASSI, MARTINE; PUGLISI, MARINA L.; BEFI-LOPES, DEBORA M.. Cross-Linguistic and Cross-Cultural Effects on Verbal Working Memory and Vocabulary: Testing Language-Minority Children With an Immigrant Background. JOURNAL OF SPEECH LANGUAGE AND HEARING RESEARCH, v. 56, n. 2, p. 630-642, . (10/09185-5)

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