Vocabulary Gain Among Children With Language Disorders: Contributions of Children’s Behavior Regulation and Emotionally Supportive Environments Purpose Behavior regulation is a positive predictor of language outcomes for children with typically developing language skills, and children with language disorders are at greater risk for difficulties with behavior regulation. This study investigated the unique role of behavior regulation on vocabulary gain for children receiving language therapy in the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2014
Vocabulary Gain Among Children With Language Disorders: Contributions of Children’s Behavior Regulation and Emotionally Supportive Environments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Beth Schmitt
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Laura M. Justice
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Ann O’Connell
    School of Educational Policy and Leadership, Schoenbaum Family Center at Weinland Park, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Mary Beth Schmitt: mbschmitt17@gmail.com
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Nicole Terry
    Associate Editor: Nicole Terry×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2014
Vocabulary Gain Among Children With Language Disorders: Contributions of Children’s Behavior Regulation and Emotionally Supportive Environments
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2014, Vol. 23, 373-384. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-12-0148
History: Received November 18, 2012 , Revised June 4, 2013 , Accepted November 29, 2013
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2014, Vol. 23, 373-384. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-12-0148
History: Received November 18, 2012; Revised June 4, 2013; Accepted November 29, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose Behavior regulation is a positive predictor of language outcomes for children with typically developing language skills, and children with language disorders are at greater risk for difficulties with behavior regulation. This study investigated the unique role of behavior regulation on vocabulary gain for children receiving language therapy in the public schools as well as the unique and moderating influence of emotional support within therapy sessions on outcomes.

Method A total of 121 kindergarten and 1st-grade students with language disorders, nested within 42 speech-language pathologists (SLPs), participated in the study. Direct child measures, indirect child measures, and therapy session videotapes were used for all analyses.

Results Hierarchical linear modeling indicated a positive association between children’s behavior regulation and vocabulary gain. The emotional support of therapy sessions was not a significant predictor of vocabulary gain.

Conclusions Results from this study suggest that children’s behavior regulation is a significant predictor of vocabulary gain for children with language disorders; children with higher behavior regulation gain more over the academic year than do peers with lower behavior regulation. Findings highlight the importance of SLPs considering children’s behavior regulation when planning and implementing therapy.

Acknowledgments
This research project was supported by Grant No. R324A090012 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, to the second author, Laura M. Justice. We are very grateful to several project staff and research assistants who made this work possible, including Karie Wilson, Allison Alexander, Kate Fresh, Tricia Biancone, Kristen Lautenbach, and Sadie Schwarz, among others. We are also thankful for the speech-language pathologists, classroom teachers, families, and students who participated in this study.
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