Language and Social Factors in the Use of Cell Phone Technology by Adolescents With and Without Specific Language Impairment (SLI) Purpose: This study aimed to compare cell phone use (both oral and text-based) by adolescents with and without specific language impairment (SLI) and examine the extent to which language and social factors affect frequency of use.Method: Both interview and diary methods were used to compare oral and text-based ... Article
Article  |   February 2010
Language and Social Factors in the Use of Cell Phone Technology by Adolescents With and Without Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
    University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Kevin Durkin
    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Zoë Simkin
    University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: Gina Conti-Ramsden, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Manchester, Ellen Wilkinson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom. E-mail: gina.conti-ramsden@manchester.ac.uk.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   February 2010
Language and Social Factors in the Use of Cell Phone Technology by Adolescents With and Without Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2010, Vol. 53, 196-208. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0241)
History: Received November 18, 2008 , Revised March 27, 2009 , Accepted May 13, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2010, Vol. 53, 196-208. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0241)
History: Received November 18, 2008; Revised March 27, 2009; Accepted May 13, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose: This study aimed to compare cell phone use (both oral and text-based) by adolescents with and without specific language impairment (SLI) and examine the extent to which language and social factors affect frequency of use.

Method: Both interview and diary methods were used to compare oral and text-based communication using cell phones by 17-year-olds: 52 adolescents with SLI and 52 typically developing (TD) peers.

Results: Overall, adolescents with SLI are motivated users of mobile technology, and they engage with both oral uses (phoning) and text-based uses (text messaging). However, adolescents with SLI do not exchange text messages as often as their TD peers. Social rather than language factors are associated with frequency of cell phone use in adolescence.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that social difficulties restrict text-based uses of cell phones by adolescents with SLI, which can in turn reduce the opportunities that these adolescents have to develop social networks and make arrangements to engage in peer social interaction.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge the Nuffield Foundation (Grant EDU/32083) for their financial support. We would like to thank Helen Betteridge for her help with data collection, and we would also like to thank the young people and their families who have taken part in the study over many years.
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