Language Development and Disorders (LDD): research projects

Research studies

Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and adulthood: Identifying pathways to resilience/adjustment in personal, social and societal functioning


Specific language impairment (SLI) affects one in fifteen children in the UK. SLI involves problems with talking and with understanding spoken language. These difficulties are usually not transient. However, there is limited information about how these children “turn out” in adulthood. This project aims to fill this knowledge gap. It is based on the Manchester Language Study, the largest UK study of individuals with a history of SLI. The original cohort was a random sample of all 7 year old children who were attending language units in England in 1995. These individuals will be between 23-25 years of age during the investigation and longitudinal data is available at 7, 8, 11, 14, 16 and 17 years. A range of areas of functioning will be examined in adulthood, in the personal, social and societal domains. For example: general health (exercise, diet), personal relationships, education, employment, finances, and civic participation (voting, volunteering). Quantitative as well as qualitative data will be gathered via direct assessment, participants’ self-reports, reports from significant others, and consultation with national records. The project will make use of the concurrent and longitudinal data to identify pathways to positive adjustment (resilience) as well as risk pathways to maladjustment in adulthood.

Duration of the project

1st June 2011 until September 2015

Funding body

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Members of the project

Professor Gina Conti-RamsdenPrincipal investigator
Dr Nicola BottingCo-investigator
Professor Kevin DurkinCo-investigator
Professor Andrew PicklesCo-investigator
Dr Umar ToseebResearch associate
Dr Pearl MokResearch associate
Dr Jenny FreedResearch assistant
Ms Jo PiperResearch assistant