A Drawing Task to Assess Emotion Inference in Language-Impaired Children Purpose Studies investigating the ability of children with language impairment (LI) to infer emotions rely on verbal responses (which can be challenging for these children) and/or the selection of a card representing an emotion (which limits the response range). In contrast, a drawing task might allow a broad spectrum of ... Research Note
Research Note  |   October 01, 2015
A Drawing Task to Assess Emotion Inference in Language-Impaired Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nathalie Vendeville
    University Paul Valéry Montpellier, France
  • Nathalie Blanc
    University Paul Valéry Montpellier, France
  • Claire Brechet
    University Paul Valéry Montpellier, France
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Nathalie Vendeville: nathalie.vendeville@univ-montp3.fr
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Marleen Westerveld
    Associate Editor: Marleen Westerveld×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Language / Research Note
Research Note   |   October 01, 2015
A Drawing Task to Assess Emotion Inference in Language-Impaired Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1563-1569. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0343
History: Received December 8, 2014 , Revised March 27, 2015 , Accepted July 19, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1563-1569. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0343
History: Received December 8, 2014; Revised March 27, 2015; Accepted July 19, 2015

Purpose Studies investigating the ability of children with language impairment (LI) to infer emotions rely on verbal responses (which can be challenging for these children) and/or the selection of a card representing an emotion (which limits the response range). In contrast, a drawing task might allow a broad spectrum of responses without involving language. This study used a drawing task to compare the ability to make emotional inferences in children with and without LI.

Method Twenty-two children with LI and 22 typically developing children ages 6 to 10 years were assessed in school during 3 sessions. They were asked to listen to audio stories. At specific moments, the experimenter stopped the recording and asked children to complete the drawing of a face to depict the emotion felt by the story's character. Three adult study-blind judges were subsequently asked to evaluate the expressiveness of the drawings.

Results Children with LI had more difficulty than typically developing children making emotional inferences. Children with LI also made more errors of different valence than their typically developing peers.

Conclusion Our findings confirm that children with LI show difficulty in producing emotional inferences, even when performing a drawing task—a relatively language-free response mode.

Acknowledgments
This work was made possible through the support of the Saint-Pierre Institute (Montpellier, France). We thank especially Joelle Portal-Grades and the speech pathologists of the Institute. We also thank Jacques Servel, Corinne Chazalon, Cecile Brevet, and the teachers of the schools.
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