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Longitudinal patterns of behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties and self-concept in adolescents with a history of specific language impairment

By Geoff Lindsay and Julie E. Dockrell


Purpose: This study explored the prevalence and stability of behavioral difficulties and self-concepts between 8 and 17 years in a sample of children with a history of specific language impairment (SLI). We investigated whether earlier behavioral, emotional and social difficulties (BESD), self-concepts, language, and literacy abilities predicted behavioral difficulties and self-concepts at 16/17 years. Method: In this prospective longitudinal study, 65 students were followed up with teacher behavior ratings and individual assessments of language, literacy, and self-concepts at 8, 10, 12, 16, and 17 years. Results: The students had consistently higher levels of five domains of BESD, which had different trajectories over time, and poorer scholastic competence, whose trajectory also varied over time. Earlier language ability did not predict later behavioral difficulties or self-concepts but the prediction of academic self-concept at 16 by literacy at 10 years approached significance. Conclusions: We demonstrate the importance of distinguishing domains of behavioral difficulties and self-concept. Language, when measured at 8 or 10 years, was not a predictor of behavior or self-concepts at 16 years, or of self-concepts at 17 years. The study stresses the importance of practitioners addressing academic abilities and different social-behavioral domains in delivering support for adolescents with SLI

Topics: LC
Publisher: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Year: 2012
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