Close Relationships in Adolescents With and Without a History of Specific Language Impairment Purpose Engagement in close friendships and romantic relationships becomes particularly salient in adolescence. This study examined the influence of language, behavioral, and social variables on the level of emotional engagement experienced by adolescents with and without a history of specific language impairment (SLI). Method Ninety adolescents with SLI ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2011
Close Relationships in Adolescents With and Without a History of Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ruth Wadman
    The University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K.
  • Kevin Durkin
    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, U.K.
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
    The University of Manchester
  • Contact author: Gina Conti-Ramsden, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Manchester, Ellen Wilkinson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. E-mail: gina.conti-ramsden@manchester.ac.uk.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2011
Close Relationships in Adolescents With and Without a History of Specific Language Impairment
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2011, Vol. 42, 41-51. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0003)
History: Received January 19, 2010 , Accepted July 14, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2011, Vol. 42, 41-51. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0003)
History: Received January 19, 2010; Accepted July 14, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose Engagement in close friendships and romantic relationships becomes particularly salient in adolescence. This study examined the influence of language, behavioral, and social variables on the level of emotional engagement experienced by adolescents with and without a history of specific language impairment (SLI).

Method Ninety adolescents with SLI and 91 adolescents with typical language abilities (TD) completed two assessment sessions between the ages of 16 and 17.

Results The group with SLI had significantly lower emotional engagement scores than the TD group. Some 24% of adolescents with a history of SLI were judged to have poor emotional engagement in close relationships, compared to only 2% of the TD adolescents. A regression analysis found that language ability, prosocial behavior, and shyness were concurrently predictive of level of emotional engagement in close relationships.

Conclusion Some adolescents with SLI may be less emotionally engaged in their close relationships than their TD peers.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was undertaken in part fulfillment of a PhD by the first author (ESRC Studentship Award PTA-031-2004-00057). We would like to acknowledge the Economic and Social Research Council research fellowship (RES-063-27-0066) to Gina Conti-Ramsden. We also gratefully acknowledge the Nuffield Foundation (Grants EDU/8366 and EDU/32083) for their continued financial support. The authors would like to thank the research assistants involved in data collection as well as the families and schools who gave their time so generously.
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