Article/Report  |   August 2007
Language Delay and Behavioral/Emotional Problems in Toddlers: Findings From Two Developmental Clinics
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Leslie Rescorla, Bryn Mawr College, 101 North Merlon Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. E-mail: lrescorl@brynmawr.edu.
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Language Disorders / Language
Article/Report   |   August 2007
Language Delay and Behavioral/Emotional Problems in Toddlers: Findings From Two Developmental Clinics
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 2007, Vol.50, 1063-1078. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/074)
History: Accepted 29 Nov 2006 , Received 11 May 2006 , Revised 02 Sep 2006
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 2007, Vol.50, 1063-1078. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/074)
History: Accepted 29 Nov 2006 , Received 11 May 2006 , Revised 02 Sep 2006

Purpose: The association between language delay and behavior problems in toddlers was examined in 2 studies, 1 conducted in a developmental clinic in New Jersey (Study 1; N = 83) and the other conducted in a developmental clinic in New York (Study 2; N = 103).

Method: In both clinics, parents of 18- to 35-month-olds completed the Language Development Survey (LDS) and the Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5 (CBCL). In Study 2, the Preschool Language Scale–Fourth Edition (PLS-4) was also administered. Neurodevelopmental delay (ND) and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) symptoms were also assessed in both studies but were done so using different measures.

Results: In Study 1, LDS Vocabulary score and CBCL Total Problems, Internalizing, and Withdrawn scores were significantly correlated. However, when children with ND and/or suspected PDD were excluded, only the correlation between LDS Vocabulary and Withdrawn remained significant. In Study 2, only the correlation between LDS Vocabulary and Withdrawn approached significance. Children delayed in language on the PLS-4 had higher CBCL scores than typically developing toddlers only on the CBCL Withdrawn syndrome.

Conclusion: Significant associations between language delays and behavior problems were not found in 2 samples of 18- to 35-month-olds when children with ND and PDD were excluded, except that toddlers with language delays appeared to show elevated social withdrawal relative to typically developing toddlers.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access

Related Articles

Age 17 Language and Reading Outcomes in Late-Talking Toddlers: Support for a Dimensional Perspective on Language Delay
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research February 2009, Vol.52, 16-30. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0171)
Early Vocabulary Delay and Behavioral/Emotional Problems in Early Childhood: The Generation R Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2013, Vol.56, 553-566. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0169)
Three Profiles of Language Abilities in Toddlers With an Expressive Vocabulary Delay: Variations on a Theme
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2010, Vol.53, 699-709. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/07-0245)
A Preliminary Examination of Vocabulary and Word Learning in African American Toddlers From Middle and Low Socioeconomic Status Homes
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology November 2007, Vol.16, 381-392. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/041)
Examining Continuity of Early Expressive Vocabulary Development: The Generation R Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2011, Vol.54, 854-869. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0255)