Metapragmatic Explicitation and Social Attribution in Social Communication Disorder and Developmental Language Disorder: A Comparative Study Purpose The purposes of this study are to investigate metapragmatic (MP) ability in 6–11-year-old children with social communication disorder (SCD), developmental language disorder (DLD), and typical language development and to explore factors associated with MP explicitation and social understanding (SU). Method In this cross-sectional study, all participants (N ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 15, 2018
Metapragmatic Explicitation and Social Attribution in Social Communication Disorder and Developmental Language Disorder: A Comparative Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine Adams
    School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Elaine Lockton
    School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Anna Collins
    School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 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 Catherine Adams: catherine.adams@manchester.ac.uk
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Geralyn Timler
    Editor: Geralyn Timler×
Article Information
Balance & Balance Disorders / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 15, 2018
Metapragmatic Explicitation and Social Attribution in Social Communication Disorder and Developmental Language Disorder: A Comparative Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2018, Vol. 61, 604-618. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0026
History: Received January 19, 2017 , Revised June 8, 2017 , Accepted October 4, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2018, Vol. 61, 604-618. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0026
History: Received January 19, 2017; Revised June 8, 2017; Accepted October 4, 2017

Purpose The purposes of this study are to investigate metapragmatic (MP) ability in 6–11-year-old children with social communication disorder (SCD), developmental language disorder (DLD), and typical language development and to explore factors associated with MP explicitation and social understanding (SU).

Method In this cross-sectional study, all participants (N = 82) completed an experimental task, the Assessment of Metapragmatics (Collins et al., 2014), in which pragmatic errors are identified in filmed interactions. Responses were scored for complexity/type of explicitation (MP score) and attribution of social characteristics to the films' characters (SU score).

Results Groups with SCD and DLD had significantly lower MP scores and less sophisticated explicitation than the group with typical language development. After controlling for language and age, the group with SCD had significantly lower SU scores than the group with DLD. Significant correlations were found between MP scores and age/language ability but not with pragmatic impairment.

Conclusions Children with SCD or DLD performed poorly on an MP task compared with children who are typically developing but do not differ from each other in ability to reflect verbally on pragmatic features in interactions. MP ability appears to be closely related to structural language ability. The limited ability of children with SCD to attribute social/psychological states to interlocutors may indicate additional social attribution limitations.

Acknowledgments
The original research was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council Grant to Adams and Lockton (reference number: RES-000-22-2223). The authors acknowledge with gratitude the time and efforts of all participants and referring speech and language practitioners for their support. The authors also thank Jenny Freed, Jenny Gibson, and Jacqueline Gaile for extra testing and Graham Dunn for statistical support.
The study design was approved by the United Kingdom National Health Service Northern and Yorkshire Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee (07/MRE03/3). Parents were provided with written information about the study and provided signed consent on behalf of their children. Informed consent was also gained from the child (where able).
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