Effect of Language Context on Ratings of Shy and Unsociable Behaviors in English Language Learner Children Purpose The primary goal of this study was to explore the effect of language context on the socially withdrawn behaviors of school-age-children who are English language learners (ELLs) from middle– to high–socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. This is one of the 1st studies to address the frequently confused concepts of shyness ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2014
Effect of Language Context on Ratings of Shy and Unsociable Behaviors in English Language Learner Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea C. Ash
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Mabel L. Rice
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Sean M. Redmond
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication×
  • Correspondence to Andrea C. Ash, who is now at the University of Utah: andrea.ash@hsc.utah.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Sonja Pruitt-Lord
    Associate Editor: Sonja Pruitt-Lord×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2014
Effect of Language Context on Ratings of Shy and Unsociable Behaviors in English Language Learner Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2014, Vol. 45, 52-66. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-13-0020
History: Received March 5, 2013 , Revised July 18, 2013 , Accepted December 29, 2013
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2014, Vol. 45, 52-66. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-13-0020
History: Received March 5, 2013; Revised July 18, 2013; Accepted December 29, 2013

Purpose The primary goal of this study was to explore the effect of language context on the socially withdrawn behaviors of school-age-children who are English language learners (ELLs) from middle– to high–socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. This is one of the 1st studies to address the frequently confused concepts of shyness and unsociability as independent constructs within the ELL population. The authors of this study also investigated the feasibility of an experimental parent and child questionnaire that examines shyness and unsociability across native-language and English-speaking contexts.

Method Children and mothers (34 of whom were ELLs and 37 of whom were native English speakers) were administered an experimental questionnaire examining the children's shy and unsociable behavior in native-language and English-speaking contexts.

Results Children and mothers in the ELL group reported significantly higher ratings of shy behavior in English-speaking versus native-language contexts, whereas unsociable ratings did not differ across language contexts.

Conclusions Shyness and unsociability are distinguishable behaviors in ELL children, and researchers should consider these constructs when examining withdrawal. In addition, examining ELL children's behavior across language contexts provides a valuable method for investigating language-influenced behavioral problems. This study demonstrates the need for service providers to evaluate behavior across subtype and language context before pathologizing withdrawal in ELL children.

Acknowledgments
This project was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants T32DC000052 and R01DC001803 (awarded to the second author), and R01DC011023 (awarded to the third author). We are greatly indebted to the many families who participated in this study. We also extend our appreciation to the following people for their assistance in recruiting potential participants: Maryann Abdulmohsen, Emnit Ashenafi, MinKyung Han, Kari Hiede, Kelly Loneker, Kathy Mulinazzi, Denise Wagner, and YiHang Zhou. In addition, we thank Denise Perpich for her assistance in the data management of this project.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access