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dc.contributor.authorValentino, Anne
dc.identifier.citationSource: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 55-11, Section: B, page: 5101.
dc.description.abstractThis study investigated the premise that language disordered, pre-school-age children are significantly different in their ability to use language appropriately in a social context (referred to as pragmatic abilities) when compared to normally developing age-mates. The 10, middle class, male subjects were all diagnosed as language disordered by a state licensed speech and language pathologist. The measured cognitive functioning for the sample ranged from average to superior. Subjects ranged in age from 4 years 3 months to 5 years 3 months. The Communication Abilities Diagnostic Test (CADeT) was used to assess the following four components of conversational abilities: syntax; semantics; pragmatics; and comprehension of spoken language (Johnston & Johnston, 1990). Results of t-tests showed that mean scores for the sample for semantics, syntax, and pragmatics differed significantly {dollar}(p<.001){dollar} when compared to the CADeT normed group. In addition, correlated t-tests performed on the mean scores within the sample on the variables of semantics, syntax, pragmatics, comprehension, and language expression revealed significant differences for the following sets of variables: semantics and pragmatics {dollar}(p<.01);{dollar} semantics and comprehension {dollar}(p<.01);{dollar} and semantics and language expression {dollar}(p<.01).{dollar} Therefore, semantics emerged as a relative strength within the context of disordered language functioning. Criterion referenced scoring was also employed to further investigate the functional and dysfunctional aspects of pragmatic behaviors probed by the CADeT. The normed group provided age criteria for mastery of pragmatic functions. Results showed that, although there was little variability among CADeT summary scores within the sample, each subject evidenced an idiosyncratic, deviant pattern of mastered and unmastered pragmatic functions. There was little similarity to the pattern of strengths and weaknesses represented by the sample when compared to the pattern of normally developing, same age children. The random pattern of strengths and weaknesses for each subject speaks to a need for individualized intervention plans that assist language disordered children in developing age appropriate conversational abilities. Implications for intervention included recommendations for small group, interactive language remediation rather than the more commonly utilized one-to-one language therapy format.
dc.publisherProQuest Dissertations & Theses
dc.subjectDevelopmental psychology.
dc.subjectSpeech therapy.
dc.titleThe conversational competence of language-disordered children

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