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.
Article Information
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: Received May 11, 2006 , Revised September 2, 2006 , Accepted November 29, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 1063-1078. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/074)
History: Received May 11, 2006; Revised September 2, 2006; Accepted November 29, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

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Results: In Study 1, LDS Vocabulary score and CBCL Total Problems, Internalizing, and Withdrawn scores were significantly correlated. However, when children with ND and/or suspected PDD were excluded, only the correlation between LDS Vocabulary and Withdrawn remained significant. In Study 2, only the correlation between LDS Vocabulary and Withdrawn approached significance. Children delayed in language on the PLS-4 had higher CBCL scores than typically developing toddlers only on the CBCL Withdrawn syndrome.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

Acknowledgments
We thank Kathleen Selvaggi-McFadden of the Morristown Memorial Hospital Child Development Center for facilitating data collection in Study 1, the staff of the New York Presbyterian Hospital–Weill Medical College of Cornell University Early Intervention program for facilitating data collection in Study 2, and the parents and children in both studies who participated in the research.
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