Teacher-Identified Oral Language Difficulties among Boys with Attention Problems

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Teachers evaluated the language functioning of 95 boys, aged 6.5 to 13.8 years, identified as having attention problems (AP, n = 30), learning disability (LD, n = 33), or average achievement (AA, n = 32). The three groups did not differ significantly (p > .05) in their frequency of articulation problems. Significantly (p < .05) more AP boys were rated as having pragmatics problems than both of the other groups. AP boys were also viewed as having a higher frequency of receptive/expressive language problems than were AA boys, but not compared with LD boys. LD and AA boys did not differ in their ratings for pragmatics problems, but more LD than AA boys were perceived as having receptive/expressive problems. The average incidence of all types of language problems was highest for the AP boys at 42% with poor pragmatics representing their most frequently rated language difficulty. AP boys' pragmatics difficulties seemed to be characterized by greater difficulty in maintaining than initiating a conversation compared with the other two groups. This difficulty was positively associated with the teachers' ratings of the AP boys' impulsivity. J Dev Behav Pediatr 15:92–98, 1994. Index terms: linguistic problems, attention-disorders, teachers' ratings.

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