First Advisor

Rhea Paul

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Speech Communication




Language acquisition -- Sex differences, Slow learning children



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 50, [30] p.)


Research has suggested that there are significant differences between genders in various aspects of normal, as well as abnormal development. It has been established that more boys than girls have speech deficits, such as stuttering and poor articulation, are less social, and display more behavior problems (Eakins, 1978; Baker & Canhvell, 1982). However, past studies also suggest that females exhibit greater delays and deficits when affected by a disorder compared to males (Vogel, 1990; Paul, 1993). The question posed by this study is: How do the communication skills, both expressive and receptive, as well as daily living skills, socialization skills, and motor skills of two-year-old boys with slow expressive language development compare with the same skills in two year-old girls with slow expressive language development? Thirty two-year-old boys and 22 two-year-old girls identified as having slow expressive language development (SELD) were selected. Slow expressive language development is defined as producing fewer than 50 words by 20 months of age and was determined by parental report using the Language Development Survey (LDS) (Paul, 1991). The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (V ABS), Which examines communication, motor, daily living, and socialization skills, was administered to the toddlers when both groups had a mean age of 26 months. To determine whether or not a significant difference exists between the scores of the two groups, a twosample !-test for Equality of Means was used. :Mean and standard deviation of the raw scores, standard scores, and age equivalents were obtained by both groups of toddlers. Analysis of the raw score means and age equivalent scores showed significant differences for the Expressive Communication Subdomain, with females demonstrating superior performance. A borderline significant difference also demonstrating superior female performance was shown on the Communication Domain, as well as the Socialization Domain. The !-test results also indicated significant female superiority on the Adaptive Behavior Composite when age equivalent scores were calculated. These findings suggest that although both the boys and girls possess slow expressive language development at two years of age, the girls demonstrate significantly higher adaptive behavior skills, particularly in expressive communication and socialization, compared to the boys.


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