Report  |   April 2001
Social Behaviors of Children With Language Impairment on the Playground
Author Notes
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders
Report   |   April 2001
Social Behaviors of Children With Language Impairment on the Playground
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 2001, Vol.32, 101-113. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2001/008)
History: Accepted 10 Dec 2000 , Received 12 Jul 2000
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 2001, Vol.32, 101-113. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2001/008)
History: Accepted 10 Dec 2000 , Received 12 Jul 2000

Purpose: This pilot study examined the social behaviors of children with language impairment (LI) and their typical peers on the playground.

Method: Eight children with LI and their age-matched peers were videotape recorded for 45 minutes during morning and lunch recesses. Samples were divided into 5-second segments and coded according to the child's behavior occurring during the segment. The behavior displayed during each interval was then coded into one of 37 subcategories. These subcategories were grouped into six general categories of (a) peer interaction, (b) adult interaction, (c) withdrawal, (d) aggression, (e) victimization, and (f) other.

Results: Significant differences were observed in the categories of peer interaction and withdrawal. Typical children spent significantly more time interacting with peers than did children with LI. Conversely, children with LI demonstrated significantly more withdrawn behaviors than did their typical peers. Analyses of effect size using ω2 indicated that group membership accounted for approximately 30% of the variability in both of these types of playground behavior. No other significant differences were observed. These findings support the conclusions of researchers using teacher interview procedures, indicating that children with LI are more withdrawn than their typical peers at school.

Clinical Implications: Specific intervention targeting social language skills in playground contexts may be warranted to include children with LI in social interactions at recess.

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