Child Language in Guatemala

Publication Year



caregiver report, Spanish, screening, child language, Guatemala


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


The goal of the current study was to determine whether the MacArthur-Bates Inventario del Desarrollo de Habilidades Comunicativas – III (INV-III), a caregiver report language inventory developed in Mexico and normed on 30-47-month-old Mexican children, yields similar scores when administered to Guatemalan children. The inventory was completed in an interview format with the mothers of 44 Guatemalan monolingual Spanish-speaking children (ages 46-47 months) from a rural region of Guatemalan, primarily of lower socioeconomic status (SES), and their scores were compared to those of 54 monolingual Spanish-speaking Mexican children the same age from an urban region of central Mexico from the norming sample. The Mexican data were obtained using either a mail-in format or interviews, depending on the educational level of the parents. Guatemalan participants were credited with dialectal variants of words on the vocabulary list. No significant differences were found between the Guatemalan and Mexican samples on the Total Words or Sentence Complexity scores, in spite of group differences in maternal education levels. Item analyses revealed group differences on only 3 of the 100 vocabulary items (favoring the Mexican children), which may be attributed to cultural and/or SES differences between the groups, and only one of the Sentence Complexity items (favoring the Guatemalan children), which may reflect the use of an interview format with all of the Guatemalan participants and only some of the Mexican participants. The results suggest that the INV-III is a viable option for assessing Guatemalan children in this age range when word equivalents are given credit.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Communicative Disorders

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