Comparison of Language Skills of Adjudicated and Nonadjudicated Adolescent Males and Females Purpose This study attempted to determine whether there were any differences or similarities in the basic cognitive and language skills of 4 groups of adolescents: adjudicated (a judge’s decision to establish responsibility for a delinquent act) and nonadjudicated male and females. Method The 4 groups of adolescents were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2007
Comparison of Language Skills of Adjudicated and Nonadjudicated Adolescent Males and Females
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Debra J. Blanton
    University of South Alabama, Mobile
  • Paul A. Dagenais
    University of South Alabama, Mobile
  • Contact author: Paul A. Dagenais, Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of South Alabama, 2000 University Commons, Mobile, AL 36688-0002. E-mail: pdagenais@usouthal.edu.
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2007
Comparison of Language Skills of Adjudicated and Nonadjudicated Adolescent Males and Females
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 309-314. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/033)
History: Received June 2, 2006 , Revised November 7, 2006 , Accepted December 14, 2006
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 309-314. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/033)
History: Received June 2, 2006; Revised November 7, 2006; Accepted December 14, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

Purpose This study attempted to determine whether there were any differences or similarities in the basic cognitive and language skills of 4 groups of adolescents: adjudicated (a judge’s decision to establish responsibility for a delinquent act) and nonadjudicated male and females.

Method The 4 groups of adolescents were 18 adjudicated females, 18 nonadjudicated females, 14 adjudicated males, and 14 nonadjudicated males. They were evaluated using the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K–BIT; A. S. Kaufman & N. L. Kaufman, 1990) as a screener for intelligence and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals—3 (CELF–3; E. Semel, E. Wiig, & W. Secord, 1995) as a screener for language skills.

Results No gender differences were found between the groups for either the K–BIT or the CELF–3. All groups scored within normal limits on the K–BIT subtests, but lower on the vocabulary portion of the K–BIT compared to the matrices (nonverbal) portion. There were differences found between adjudicated and nonadjudicated groups on the CELF–3, with the adjudicated groups having lower scores.

Implications As the majority of adjudicated adolescents had not been previously identified as having difficulties with language abilities, this population could benefit from early assessment. Also, children who are at risk for incarceration should be screened for possible language deficits that could contribute to the many difficulties experienced by adolescents.

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