The Ability of Children With Language Impairment to Dissemble Emotions in Hypothetical Scenarios and Natural Situations Purpose This study examined the ability of children with language impairment (LI) to dissemble (hide) emotional reactions when socially appropriate to do so. Method Twenty-two children with LI and their typically developing peers (7;1–10;11 [years;months]) participated in two tasks. First, participants were presented with hypothetical scenarios in which ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   October 01, 2015
The Ability of Children With Language Impairment to Dissemble Emotions in Hypothetical Scenarios and Natural Situations
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bonnie Brinton
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Martin Fujiki
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Noel Quist Hurst
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Emily Rowberry Jones
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Matthew P. Spackman
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • 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 Bonnie Brinton: bonnie_brinton@byu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe
    Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2015
The Ability of Children With Language Impairment to Dissemble Emotions in Hypothetical Scenarios and Natural Situations
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 325-336. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0096
History: Received October 20, 2014 , Revised March 12, 2015 , Accepted June 10, 2015
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 325-336. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0096
History: Received October 20, 2014; Revised March 12, 2015; Accepted June 10, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose This study examined the ability of children with language impairment (LI) to dissemble (hide) emotional reactions when socially appropriate to do so.

Method Twenty-two children with LI and their typically developing peers (7;1–10;11 [years;months]) participated in two tasks. First, participants were presented with hypothetical scenarios in which the main character was exposed to situations that would require dissembling an emotional reaction for social purposes (e.g., receiving a disappointing gift from a grandparent). In the second task, children were presented with four naturally occurring opportunities to dissemble emotion (e.g., receiving a disappointing reward for taking part in the study).

Results Although the ability to dissemble emotion was still emerging in children in both groups, typically developing children judged that dissemblance was appropriate significantly more often than did children with LI in the hypothetical scenarios. In naturalistic scenarios, there was little difference between groups in low-cost scenarios (those in which the child had nothing to lose by hiding emotion). In the high-cost scenario (hiding emotion meant accepting a disappointing prize), more typically developing children concealed their disappointment than did children with LI. These differences neared statistical significance (p = .058).

Conclusion Children with typically developing language showed a greater ability to dissemble in hypothetical scenarios. In naturalistic scenarios, performance was more nuanced. In low-cost scenarios, there was little difference between groups. In the high-cost scenario, typically developing children tended to dissemble more often than did children with LI.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by grants from the McKay School of Education, Brigham Young University to Martin Fujiki and Bonnie Brinton.
The authors acknowledge the assistance of Bethany Hillary, Dorthy Stott, Chelsea Voorhees, Veronica Gardner, Melanie Cobabe, and Lara Goldie.
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