Characteristics and behavioral difficulties in preadolescents with a history of Specific Language Impairment


Presented at International Congress of Clinical and Health Psychology on Children and Adolescents (AITANA)



Authors Aguilar-Mediavilla, E., Valera-Pozo, M., Buil-Legaz, L.

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People with specific language disorder (SLI) have a history of problems regarding language acquisition without the presence of those variables that tend to explain this issue such as, deafness, cognitive impairment, and organic damage o socio-economic problems. However, the most recent studies highlight that people with SLI, when achieving adolescence have problematic social-skills (Conti-Ramsden, Mok, Pickles, & Durkin, 2013; Valera-Pozo, Buil-Legaz, Rigo-Carratalà, Casero-Martínez, & Aguilar-Mediavilla, 2016), academic failure (Conti-Ramsden, Durkin, Simkin, & Knox, 2010), and these difficulties lead to a higher risk of suffering from bullying (Durkin & Conti-Ramsden, 2010; Rice, 2016), and having psychological problems (Harrison, 2011).

This present study goal is to explore behavioral characteristics and their difficulties with a sample of kids with bilingual (Spanish-Catalan) SLI when reaching their teenage years.

For this purpose, we have compared two different groups with 18 kids, one the group is formed with people diagnosed with SLI at 5 years of age and their control samples within the same age, gender, socio-economical level, mother language and classroom. The used means were obtained using the BASC Spanish version (BASC; Reynolds y Kamphaus, 1992; Spanish adaptation from González, Fernández, Pérez, y Santamaría, 2004), gathering the assessment done by the subjects themselves and their tutors.

These results shown that children with SLI had, according to their tutors, a lower score in those dimensions related to adaptive abilities and their academic problems. They weren’t presenting differences in those dimensions that were exteriorized either interiorized problems while showing higher score in the withdrawal score. Nevertheless, considering their own evaluation they show no difference.

These results are an indicator that children with SLI show a shortage in adaptive abilities and academic problems that can lead to a higher risk of suffering from bullying. Nonetheless, the affected children aren’t aware of their difficulties that can expose them at a higher level to this bullying.