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Title: The social well-being of children with specific language impairment
Author: Robinson, Karen Josephine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 4415
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2012
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Specific language impairment (SLI) describes a form of language acquisition difficulty that is not secondary to other developmental conditions. Researchers have identified a number of social and emotional difficulties in children and young people with SLI. However, less is known about the influences upon these difficulties, particularly at times of major change. This longitudinal study therefore examines the social well-being of children with receptive SLI during their transition from primary to secondary schooling. It focuses on peer social position and social anxiety and considers whether the severity of receptive language impairment, along with other factors, has particular importance for these markers. The markers are explored in terms of their definition, interrelationship and the degree to which they present singularly in children with SLI. The study uses a mixed method design to address six related research questions. The quantitative results showed that the participants with SLI had higher social anxiety than typical comparisons at both Time 1 and Time 2, but lower self-rated social acceptance at Time 2 only. However, teachers at Time 1 rated their social acceptance lower than they rated typical comparisons. There were no significant changes in self-rated measures from Time 1 to Time 2. A moderately strong and longitudinally robust association was found between social acceptance and social anxiety and between social acceptance and verbal/non-verbal discrepancy. Furthermore, social acceptance predicted social anxiety. The qualitative findings indicated that a number of factors singly and ecologically influenced the social well-being of children with SLI following secondary transition. Of these, receptive language level, pragmatic development and parental support were found to be particularly important. There was considerable variation in levels of social well-being, but they were generally lower than in a group of children with specific learning difficulties (SpLD). Overall, the study suggested that some children with SLI face greater social challenges than their peers at this life stage. However, secondary transition did not invariably result in greater difficulties. The study raised questions about policy, provision and practice in relation to children with SLI and identified areas for future research. Key words: specific language impairment (SLI); special educational needs (SEN); specific learning difficulties (SpLD); peer social position; social anxiety; ecological relationships
Supervisor: Norwich, Brahm Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: SLI; SpLD; social position; social anxiety