Validity evidence for the littlEARS early speech production questionnaire: An english-speaking, canadian sample
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
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© 2019 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Purpose: This study reports validity evidence for an English translation of the LittlEARS Early Speech Production Questionnaire (LEESPQ). The LEESPQ was designed to support early spoken language outcome monitoring in young children who are deaf/hard of hearing. Methods: Data from 90 children with normal hearing, ages 0–18 months, are reported. Parents completed the LEESPQ in addition to a concurrent measure of spoken language development, the Receptive-Expressive Emergent Language Test–Third Edition. Normal hearing status and development were confirmed. Results: Traditional scale analyses, in addition to item parameters, are reported. The LEESPQ was highly correlated with the Receptive-Expressive Emergent Language Test–Third Edition (r = .92) and age (r = .90) and had high internal consistency (Ω = 0.92). Common factor analysis revealed 2 underlying factors conceptually mapping onto items measuring vocal and symbolic development. A latent traits model was the best fit to the data, and item difficulty broadly conformed to theoretical expectations. Conclusions: The present work demonstrates that the LEESPQ accurately captures early spoken language development in a typically developing group of young children. The LEESPQ holds promise as a clinically feasible, spoken language outcome monitoring tool. Future work to identify differences in performance characteristics between typically developing children and clinical populations is warranted.