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Long-term consistency in speech/language profiles: II. Behavioral, emotional, and social outcomes.

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  • 1Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Canada.



This study examined the 7-year behavioral, emotional, and social outcome of speech/language-impaired and control children selected from a community sample.


Speech/language and psychosocial measures were administered to the children at ages 5 and 12.5 years. Using children's age 5 speech/language test results, a cluster analysis was performed to ascertain whether specific linguistic subgroups would emerge. The association between speech/language cluster at age 5 and psychosocial functioning at age 12.5 was examined.


Children with receptive and pervasive speech/language problems at age 5 demonstrated greater behavioral disturbance than children without such impairment. Controlling for initial behavioral status, early childhood language profile was still associated with behavioral and social competence ratings, 7 years later. Children without receptive language problems showed superior social adjustment.


Empirically supported speech/language classifications identified as early as age 5 were associated with behavioral disturbance in late childhood. Receptive and pervasive speech/language impairment in early childhood was associated with the greatest risk at follow-up. Early auditory comprehension problems may be a specific risk factor for later aggressive and hyperactive symptoms. These findings identify the need for effective intervention with speech/language-impaired children.

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