Conversational Responsiveness of Speech- and Language-Impaired Preschoolers The purpose of this study was to describe preschoolers’ conversational responsiveness in an integrated classroom setting. Variables of primary interest were the types of responses as a function of the conversational partner. The children were categorized according to language ability: normally developing, marginal (children previously diagnosed as language or speech ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1991
Conversational Responsiveness of Speech- and Language-Impaired Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pamela A. Hadley
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing and Child Language Program University of Kansas Lawrence
  • Mabel L. Rice
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing and Child Language Program University of Kansas Lawrence
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Pamela A. Hadley, PhD, Child Language Program, 1082 Dole Human Development Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045.
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1991
Conversational Responsiveness of Speech- and Language-Impaired Preschoolers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1308-1317. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1308
History: Received September 26, 1990 , Accepted February 12, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1308-1317. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1308
History: Received September 26, 1990; Accepted February 12, 1991

The purpose of this study was to describe preschoolers’ conversational responsiveness in an integrated classroom setting. Variables of primary interest were the types of responses as a function of the conversational partner. The children were categorized according to language ability: normally developing, marginal (children previously diagnosed as language or speech impaired, but now functioning within the normal range), language impaired (LI), and speech impaired (SI). They were observed during free play. Differences in response types were apparent between groups with both adult and peer partners. LI and SI children were ignored by their peers and responded less often when a peer initiated to them. Hence, they participated in proportionately fewer peer interactions. These results suggest that peer interaction difficulties may be concomitant consequences of early speech and language impairments. Clinical implications for verbal interactive skill intervention, particularly with peers in classroom settings, are discussed

Acknowledgments
Data collection was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts and was supported by the Kansas Early Childhood Research Institute (HCEEP Grant No. HO24U80001). Preparation of the manuscript was supported by DE Training Grant No. HO29D90046-90. Special appreciation is expressed to Betty Bunce, Marion O’Brien, Melanie Schuele, Marie Sell, and Kim Wilcox for their helpful suggestions. We also thank the children, parents, and staff of the Language Acquisition Preschool for their participation in this study.
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