There is a need for longitudinal studies of twins in which there is direct behavioral assessment of multidimensional language abilities during the preschool period followed by direct behavioral assessment of multidimensional language abilities and early reading skills during the early elementary school years. This project builds on an existing program of investigation that has recruited and obtained behavioral assessments on 702 twin pairs, and 237 single born children, ages 2-6 years. Family members are recruited for behavioral assessment, and extensive family, home, and child information has been obtained via questionnaires. This proposal will extend the longitudinal data to cover 2-9 years, in order to obtain heritability and environmentality estimates for the transition from early language to later reading abilities. Of particular interest are the genetic and environmental influences on the condition of Specific Language Impairment and subsequent reading impairments in young children, the language phenotypes, and indications of age-related modulations of genetic and environmental effects. Initial molecular studies will test for linkage of SLI phenotypes to candidate regions that have been identified for SLI and reading disability. The outcomes will be highly relevant for the identification of children at risk for language disability and the estimation of possible genetic, environmental, and interactive age modulated effects on language and reading acquisition.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
Program Officer
Cooper, Judith
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University of Kansas Lawrence
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United States
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Rice, Mabel L; Zubrick, Stephen R; Taylor, Catherine L et al. (2018) Longitudinal Study of Language and Speech of Twins at 4 and 6 Years: Twinning Effects Decrease, Zygosity Effects Disappear, and Heritability Increases. J Speech Lang Hear Res 61:79-93
Taylor, Catherine L; Rice, Mabel L; Christensen, Daniel et al. (2018) Prenatal and perinatal risks for late language emergence in a population-level sample of twins at age 2. BMC Pediatr 18:41
Rice, Mabel L (2016) Specific Language Impairment, Nonverbal IQ, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cochlear Implants, Bilingualism, and Dialectal Variants: Defining the Boundaries, Clarifying Clinical Conditions, and Sorting Out Causes. J Speech Lang Hear Res 59:122-32
Rice, Mabel L; Hoffman, Lesa (2015) Predicting vocabulary growth in children with and without specific language impairment: a longitudinal study from 2;6 to 21 years of age. J Speech Lang Hear Res 58:345-59
Abel, Alyson D; Rice, Mabel L; Bontempo, Daniel E (2015) Effects of verb familiarity on finiteness marking in children with specific language impairment. J Speech Lang Hear Res 58:360-72
Rice, Mabel L; Zubrick, Stephen R; Taylor, Catherine L et al. (2014) Late language emergence in 24-month-old twins: heritable and increased risk for late language emergence in twins. J Speech Lang Hear Res 57:917-28
Rice, Mabel L; Zeldow, Bret; Siberry, George K et al. (2013) Evaluation of risk for late language emergence after in utero antiretroviral drug exposure in HIV-exposed uninfected infants. Pediatr Infect Dis J 32:e406-13
Rice, Mabel L (2013) Language growth and genetics of specific language impairment. Int J Speech Lang Pathol 15:223-33
Rice, Mabel L; Blossom, Megan (2013) What do children with specific language impairment do with multiple forms of DO? J Speech Lang Hear Res 56:222-35
Rice, Mabel L; Buchanan, Ashley L; Siberry, George K et al. (2012) Language impairment in children perinatally infected with HIV compared to children who were HIV-exposed and uninfected. J Dev Behav Pediatr 33:112-23

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