Speech-Language Pathologists’ Ratings of Speech Accuracy in Children With Speech Sound Disorders

Linye Jing, Maria I. Grigos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Forming accurate and consistent speech judgments can be challenging when working with children with speech sound disorders who produce a large number and varied types of error patterns. Rating scales offer a systematic approach to assessing the whole word rather than individual sounds. Thus, these scales can be an efficient way for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to monitor treatment progress. This study evaluated the interrater reliability of an existing 3-point rating scale using a large group of SLPs as raters. Method: Utilizing an online platform, 30 SLPs completed a brief training and then rated single words produced by children with typical speech patterns and children with speech sound disorders. Words were closely balanced across the three rating categories of the scale. The interrater reliability of the SLPs ratings to a consensus judgment was examined. Results: The majority of SLPs (87%) reached substantial interrater reliability to a consensus judgment using the 3-point rating scale. Correct productions had the highest interrater reliability. Productions with extensive errors had higher agreement than those with minor errors. Certain error types, such as vowel distortions, were especially challenging for SLPs to judge. Conclusions: This study demonstrated substantial interrater reliability to a consensus judgment among a large majority of 30 SLPs using a 3-point rating. The clinical implications of the findings are discussed along with proposed modifications to the training procedure to guide future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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