Date of Award
Michelle M. Martel
Paul J. Frick
Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD), including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) have poorer language skills compared to typically developing children; however, language as a potential risk factor for DBD has received little empirical attention or evaluation. Receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills in preschoolers with DBD were examined. Participants were 82 preschool-age children and their primary caregivers. Primary caregivers completed a semi-structured interview and symptom and language questionnaires. Preschoolers completed measures of receptive and expressive language. Results indicated that preschoolers with DBD were more impaired on receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language compared to non-DBD children. Pragmatic language appears particularly impaired in children with DBD, and language problems appear most linked with increased hyperactivity-impulsivity (vs. inattention or oppositional-defiance). This work suggests the need for early assessment of language in preschoolers with DBD, as well as the possibly utility of tailored interventions focusing on improving pragmatic language.
Gremillion, Monica L., "Merely Misunderstood: Expressive, Receptive, and Pragmatic Language in Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders" (2011). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1398.