Self-Esteem, Shyness, and Sociability in Adolescents With Specific Language Impairment (SLI) Purpose To determine if lower global self-esteem, shyness, and low sociability are outcomes associated with SLI in adolescence. Possible concurrent predictive relationships and gender differences were also examined. Method Fifty-four adolescents with SLI, aged between 16 and 17 years, were compared with a group of 54 adolescents with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2008
Self-Esteem, Shyness, and Sociability in Adolescents With Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ruth Wadman
    The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Kevin Durkin
    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
    The University of Manchester
  • Contact author: Gina Conti-Ramsden, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Manchester, Humanities Devas Street Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom. E-mail: gina.conti-ramsden@manchester.ac.uk.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2008
Self-Esteem, Shyness, and Sociability in Adolescents With Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 938-952. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/069)
History: Received May 21, 2007 , Revised November 13, 2007 , Accepted January 7, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 938-952. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/069)
History: Received May 21, 2007; Revised November 13, 2007; Accepted January 7, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 48

Purpose To determine if lower global self-esteem, shyness, and low sociability are outcomes associated with SLI in adolescence. Possible concurrent predictive relationships and gender differences were also examined.

Method Fifty-four adolescents with SLI, aged between 16 and 17 years, were compared with a group of 54 adolescents with typical language abilities on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and the Cheek and Buss Shyness and Sociability scales (Cheek & Buss, 1981).

Results The SLI group had significantly lower global self-esteem scores than the group with typical language abilities. The adolescents with SLI were more shy than their peers, but the groups did not differ in their sociability ratings. Regression analysis found that language ability was not concurrently predictive of self-esteem but shyness was. Mediation analysis suggested that shyness could be a partial but significant mediator in the relationship between language ability and global self-esteem.

Conclusions Older adolescents with SLI are at risk of lower global self-esteem and experience shyness, although they want to interact socially. The relationship between language ability and self-esteem at this point in adolescence is complex, with shyness potentially playing an important mediating role.

Acknowledgments
This work was undertaken in partial fulfillment of a PhD by the first author (Economic and Social Research Council Studentship Award PTA-031-2004-00057). We would like to acknowledge the Economic and Social Research Council Fellowship RES-063-27-0066, awarded to Gina Conti-Ramsden. We also gratefully acknowledge the Nuffield Foundation (Grants EDU/8366 and EDU/32083) for their continued financial support. We would like to thank the research assistants involved in data collection as well as the families and schools who gave their time so generously. Thanks also to Martin Lea for his advice on the mediation analyses.
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