First Advisor

Rhea Paul

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Children -- Language, Social interaction in children, Slow learning children



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, v, 71 p.)


Beginning at birth, a child's receptive and expressive language skills are developing in stages. Likewise, the child's socialization skills are progressing in stages. However, it does not seem that communication and socialization are developing independently of each other. Rather, it seems that their development is interrelated.Children learn to speak in a social context, and social situations are necessary for the development of a variety of language structure~ On the same note, in order for those language structures to develop normally, it is necessary for the child to participate in different social situations. Social interactionists have theorized for some time that human language develops out of the social-communicative functions that language serves in human relations. Vygotsky (1962) theorized that language development, social development, and cognitive development all overlap. He stated that a child's social means of thought is language and referred to this as "verbal thought." This verbal thought process serves a major social function. It is through this verbal thought process that children have the ability to be socialized by others and to socialize with others: If, in fact,Expressive language skills and socialization skills do develop together, it would then seem logical that the child who is late to begin talking would also experience initial deficits in the development of socialization Subsequently, it would seem that the late-talking child (L T) who has persistent deficits in language would, in turn, maintain chronic deficits in socialization. Results of a study which set out to investigate the differences between two and three-year old subjects with a history of LT and their normal language peers indicated that subjects with a history of LT are, in fact, at risk for persistent delays in both expressive language and socialization (Paul, Spangle Looney, and Dahm, 1991). The purpose of this study was to compare the language and socialization skills of a group of five-year olds with a history of LT to a group of normal subjects of the same age. If significant differences were found between the two groups in either area, the scores of the subjects with a history of LT at age two would be correlated with their scores at age five to investigate whether a significant relationship existed between their scores at both ages. It was hypothesized that the subjects with a history of LTwould be at risk for longterm delays in both language and socialization. More specifically, the group of subjects with a history of LT, as a whole, would show significant delays in the areas of expressive language and socialization as compared to the normal controls. It was further hypothesized that the subjects with a history of LTs' scores at the age of two would reliably predict their scores at five, given a significant deficit in either area. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales VABS (Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 1984) was the test instrument used to gather the data at both age levels, five years and two years. Parents of 25 subjects with a history of L T and 25 normal subjects were interviewed by a trained graduate researcher on their child's communication, daily living and socialization skills using the VABS. Results of an ANOVA and Tukey multiple comparisons indicated that the subjects with a history of LT, as a whole, scored significantly lower than the normal subjects in the areas of expressive communication and socialization at age five. Since a proportion of the test items in the socialization domain of the VABS require the child to verbalize, an item analysis between the verbal and the nonverbal test items was performed to determine the influence of the verbal test items on the subjects with a history of LTs' socialization scores. Results of the item-analysis indicated that the subjects with a history of L T's poor performance on the socialization scale was due to their deficits in social skills not their deficits in expressive language. Lastly, a Pearson Product Moment Correlational Test was conducted to investigate the relationship between the subjects with a history of LTs' scores at age two on the communication and the socialization scales and their scores at age five on the same scales. Results indicated that the subjects with a history of LTs' scores on both the socialization scale and the communication scale at age two correlated significantly with their scores on the socialization scale at age five. Therefore, the subjects with a history of LTs' socialization and communication scores at age two are good predictors of their adaptive social skills at the age of five.


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