First Advisor

Joan McMahon

Term of Graduation

Summer 1993

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication: Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication




School situations questionnaire, Speech disorders in children -- Diagnosis, Language disorders in children -- Diagnosis



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, v, 32 pages)


Many children with emotional and/or behavioral disorders also present with speech and language disorders. Children with attention deficits, in particular, have shown a much higher incidence of speech and language disorders than does the general population.

Traditionally, school speech-language pathologists have been responsible for conducting mass screenings to determine which children should be further evaluated for speech and language disorders. An increasing number of school districts are relying on teacher referrals to determine which children require speech-language evaluations. It was hypothesized that if teachers were able to identify children with attention deficits, these children may be appropriate for referral to speech-language pathologists for speech and language evaluation.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the School Situations Questionnaire-Revised (SSQ-R) in identifying children in the second grade, aged 7:0 to 8:11, who are speech and/or language disordered. This study sought to answer the following primary question: is there an association between the diagnosis of speech and/or language disorders (SLD), and detection by the SSQ-R as at risk for attention and behavior disorders (ABD)?

The sample population consisted of 91 students from six second-grade classrooms who met the selection criteria. The SSQ-R, a rating scale designed for teachers to rate behavior related to attention and concentration, was used by classroom teachers to evaluate the subjects to determine if they were at risk for attention and behavior disorders. These results were tabulated along with the number of children diagnosed with speech and/or language disorders in this population.

Chi Square analysis showed no significant association for the two measures. It was found that of the 11 SLO subjects, 3 of them, or 27%, were also ABO. Only 3 of the 17 ABO subjects (18%) were also SLO. The 18% of SLO subjects in the ABO population and the 27% of ABO subjects in the SLO group represent a higher percentage of ABD and SLO than is expected in the general population. The higher than average incidence of SLO in the ABO population warrants an awareness of this relationship and the realization that this will impact service delivery.

The results of this study indicate that the SSQ-R is not an appropriate measure for teachers to use in determining which children in their classroom would benefit from an assessment for speech and/or language disorders. The high number (82%) of children identified by the SSQ-R as ABD who were not SLD would identify many children who did not require speech and language evaluation. Conversely, the high number (73%) of children not identified as ABD who were SLD by the SSQ-R would neglect many children who require speech/language intervention.

The results of this study are not to discount previous research that has suggested an association between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and speech and language disorders. It is likely that an association exists, but the present study was not able to demonstrate a significant correlation.


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