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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2004 Aug;32(4):453-67.

Early language impairment and young adult delinquent and aggressive behavior.

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Psychology Department, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.


Clinic and forensic studies have reported high rates of language impairments in conduct disordered and incarcerated youth. In community samples followed to early adolescence, speech and language impairments have been linked to attention deficits and internalizing problems, rather than conduct problems, delinquency, or aggression. This study examines the young adult antisocial outcomes of speech or language impaired children. Language impaired boys had higher levels of parent-rated delinquency symptoms by age 19 than boys without language impairment, controlled for verbal IQ and for demographic and family variables. Language impaired boys did not differ from controls in self-reported delinquency or aggression symptoms on a standardized checklist; however, language impaired boys reported higher rates of arrests and convictions than controls. Language impairment was not related to aggression or delinquency in girls. We examine alternate models of the interrelationships between language, academics, and behavior, at ages 5, 12, and 19.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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