The Academic and Functional Academic Skills of Youth Who Are at Risk for Language Impairment in Residential Care Purpose Undiagnosed language impairment (LI) for youth in residential care is a concern as similar populations have shown elevated levels of language delays. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to identify the percentage of youth in residential care who are at risk for LI and to compare the demographic, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2010
The Academic and Functional Academic Skills of Youth Who Are at Risk for Language Impairment in Residential Care
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica L. Hagaman
    University of Nebraska—Lincoln
  • Alexandra L. Trout
    University of Nebraska—Lincoln
  • Cathy DeSalvo
    Boys Town, Omaha, NE
  • Robert Gehringer
    Boys Town, Omaha, NE
  • Michael H. Epstein
    University of Nebraska—Lincoln
  • Contact author: Jessica L. Hagaman, University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, 301 Barkley Memorial Center, Lincoln, NE 68583-0738. E-mail: jesshagaman@hotmail.com.
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2010
The Academic and Functional Academic Skills of Youth Who Are at Risk for Language Impairment in Residential Care
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 14-22. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0089)
History: Received August 5, 2008 , Revised December 9, 2008 , Accepted December 10, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 14-22. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0089)
History: Received August 5, 2008; Revised December 9, 2008; Accepted December 10, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose Undiagnosed language impairment (LI) for youth in residential care is a concern as similar populations have shown elevated levels of language delays. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to identify the percentage of youth in residential care who are at risk for LI and to compare the demographic, academic achievement, and functional academic skills of youth with or without possible LI.

Method Participants were 80 youth in residential care. Risk for LI was determined using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals—4 Screening Test (E. Semel, E. H. Wiig, & W. A. Secord, 2004). Independent-samples t tests and chi-square analyses were conducted to assess the differences between groups. Measures used included the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement (R. W. Woodcock, K. S. McGrew, & N. Mather, 2001) and the Kaufman Functional Academic Skills Test (A. S. Kaufman & N. L. Kaufman, 1994).

Results More than half of the sample (54%) were identified as being at risk for LI. Statistically significant differences between youth with and without LI were found on academic variables. Specifically, youth who were at risk for LI presented academic achievement and functional academic scores in the low to low-average ranges.

Conclusion Findings suggest that there is a need to screen youth entering residential programs for possible LI. Implications for treatment and program planning are discussed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported by Grant H325D040020 from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and Grant R324B070034 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Science. The statements in this manuscript do not necessarily represent the views of the U. S. Department of Education. We would like to thank the teachers, staff, and principals at Boys Town; Ron Thompson from Boys Town; Kati Luschen, Becca Haschke, Katy Casey, and Annette Griffith from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln; and Nichole Fetrow and Marty Trummer for their assistance in data collection activities.
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