The relation between error variability and stimulability in children with SSD
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The purpose of the present study was to examine relations among proposed measures of underlying phonological representations (UPRs) in children with speech sound disorders (SSD). Eighteen children with SSD, aged 3;6-5;5, were tested for their error variability, stimulability, nonword repetition (NWR), and intra-word production variability. Pearson Product Moment Correlations were calculated to determine the nature of relations among these variables. Results revealed substantial relations between error variability and stimulability and between error variability and NWR. Relations between stimulability and NWR and between error variability and intra-word production variability were negligible. These findings suggest that error variability and stimulability may each reflect different aspects of UPRs in these children. Error variability may reflect the distinctness while stimulability may reflect the correctness of UPRs. Intra-word production variability may reflect aspects of underlying lexical as opposed to phonological representations in these children. The construct of error variability requires further exploration for its prevalence and developmental course. Examination of change for individual sounds that vary along the dimensions of error variability and stimulability is needed to validate the proposal that they each reflect unique aspects of UPRs in children with SSD. Further research is also required to determine the best intervention strategies for treating children with high error variability.