University of Oulu

Vehkavuori, S.-M., Kämäräinen, M., & Stolt, S. (2021). Early receptive and expressive lexicons and language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years – A longitudinal study. Early Human Development, 156, 105345.

Early receptive and expressive lexicons and language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years : a longitudinal study

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Author: Vehkavuori, Suvi-Maria1,2,3; Kämäräinen, Maiju4; Stolt, Suvi2
Organizations: 1Faculty of Humanities, Logopedics, Child Language Research Center, University of Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Unit of Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Finland
3Coronaria Oy Ltd, Therapy Center, Turku, Finland
4CogniMed Oy Ltd, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-03-03


Background/Objectives: The long-term associations between early receptive/expressive lexical skills and later language/pre-literacy skills require clarification.

Aims: To study the association between and predictive values of early receptive/expressive lexical skills and language/pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years, and to examine the language profiles at 5;0 years of children with weak receptive language/expressive lexical skills at 2;0 years.

Participants and methods: The participants were 66 monolingual children. Their lexical skills were measured using the Finnish short-form version of the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories at 1;6 and 2;0 years. Receptive language skills were measured at 2;0 years using the Reynell Developmental Language Scales III. A broader assessment at 5;0 years measured lexical, phonological, morphological and pre-literacy skills.

Results: Significant associations between receptive/expressive lexical skills at 1;6 years and language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years were found. Both receptive language and expressive lexical development measured at 2;0 years were greatly and relatively evenly associated with language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years. Lexicon/language variables at 1;6 years and 2;0 years had statistically significant predictive values for general language and pre-literacy scores at 5;0 years. The best models that included early lexical predictors explained 20–34% of later language/literacy outcome. Weak skills at 2;0 years proposed vulnerability in language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years.

Conclusions: Language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years can to some extent be explained by early receptive language and/or expressive lexical development. Further assessment and/or follow-up is important for children who have had weak language/lexical skills at 2;0 years.

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Series: Early human development
ISSN: 0378-3782
ISSN-E: 1872-6232
ISSN-L: 0378-3782
Volume: 156
Article number: 105345
DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105345
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 612 Languages and literature
Funding: The manuscript finalizing process was supported by a grant from The University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation, Finland. The Sanaseula Study has been supported by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http:/