Weak hand preference in children with Down syndrome is associated with language deficits

Marguerite Groen, Ifat Yasin, Glynis J Laws, Joanna Barry, Dorothy V M Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explores associations between language ability and hand preference in children with Down syndrome. Compared to typically developing children of the same age, children with Down syndrome showed weaker hand preference, were less consistent in the hand they used and also less willing to reach to extreme positions in contralateral space. Within the group of children with Down syndrome, those who showed a stronger or more consistent hand preference had better language and memory skills. This association could not be explained by differences in non-verbal cognitive ability or hearing loss. These findings are discussed within the theory of neurolinguistic development proposed by Locke [Locke (1997). Brain & Language, 58, 265–326].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Down syndrome
  • Hand preference
  • increased randomness hypothesis
  • Language
  • Vocabulary
  • Hemispheric specialisation

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