Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Functioning of Secondary School Students With Low Academic and Language Performance: Perspectives From Students, Teachers, and Parents Purpose Adolescence is a time of transition when young people with language difficulties are at increased risk of experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties (SEBD). Most studies of social, emotional, and behavioral functioning (SEBF) in individuals with language difficulties focus on children with a clinical diagnosis of language impairment. This ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   October 01, 2012
Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Functioning of Secondary School Students With Low Academic and Language Performance: Perspectives From Students, Teachers, and Parents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Victoria L. Joffe
    City University London, UK
  • Emma Black
    City University London, UK
  • Correspondence to Victoria Joffe: v.joffe@city.ac.uk
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Martin Fujiki
    Associate Editor: Martin Fujiki×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Forum: Language and Communication Disorders in Adolescents
Clinical Forum   |   October 01, 2012
Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Functioning of Secondary School Students With Low Academic and Language Performance: Perspectives From Students, Teachers, and Parents
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2012, Vol. 43, 461-473. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0088)
History: Received October 12, 2011 , Revised February 4, 2012 , Accepted February 22, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2012, Vol. 43, 461-473. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0088)
History: Received October 12, 2011; Revised February 4, 2012; Accepted February 22, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose Adolescence is a time of transition when young people with language difficulties are at increased risk of experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties (SEBD). Most studies of social, emotional, and behavioral functioning (SEBF) in individuals with language difficulties focus on children with a clinical diagnosis of language impairment. This study explores SEBF in a nonclinical group of 12-year-old students with low educational and language performance from their own perspectives and those of their parents and teachers.

Method The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) was given to 352 mainstream secondary school students who were underperforming academically and had poor language performance. Two hundred and twenty-five of their parents and 230 of their teachers also completed the questionnaire.

Results Students with low educational attainment and poor language showed significantly greater SEBD than a normative sample as reported by themselves, their parents, and their teachers. Significant differences were found across informants, with students identifying more overall difficulties than parents or teachers.

Conclusion Secondary school students with low academic and language performance are more vulnerable to experiencing SEBD compared to typically developing peers. The extent of their difficulties varied depending on the informant, emphasizing the importance of gaining views from multiple perspectives.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The data in this study are from a larger research program that was supported by a grant to the first author from The Nuffield Foundation, United Kingdom (Grant EDU/3220). Preparation of this paper was supported by a grant to the first author by The Better Communication Research Program from the Department for Education in the United Kingdom. The authors thank the schools, parents, teachers, teaching assistants, and students who participated in the project. Thanks also to the research associates who assisted in the research: Francesca Parker, Eleni Kotta, Elena Revelas, and Clare Forder. Professors Tim Pring from City University London and Julie Dockrell from the Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom, read and discussed drafts of the paper with the authors.
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