• Judita Habermann deposited Language and psycho-social well-being on Humanities Commons 2 years, 3 months ago

    The linkages between children’s and adults’ language abilities and psycho-social functioning are of
    increasing interest to psychiatry. Children and adolescents with specific language impairment (SLI)
    have a higher risk of developing a variety of psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study was to
    test the hypothesis that the level of language used in peer communication at school – whether
    signed or spoken – is associated with psychosocial well-being in adolescents with hearing
    impairments. 53 students completed a battery of linguistic tests as well as the Strengths and
    Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which was also completed by their parents. The group of 34
    children in mainstream education was compared to the group of 19 children in a segregated school
    for the deaf. The findings indicated that children’s language abilities were impaired in comparison
    to published norms, which was particularly pronounced in segregated schools. Parents perceived
    their children to be in greater distress than published standards. In mainstream education, those with
    a higher level of spoken language had very few peer relationship problems, but considerably more
    in segregated schools. For those proficient in signed language, the converse was almost as
    significant. We conclude that peer relationship difficulties are related to language competence levels
    in the way children communicate at school.