Identifying the Relationship between Language Delays and Behavior
Problems of Head Start Children
Recent findings have suggested that children with language delays frequently have concurrent behavior problems. This concurrence of problems makes learning difficult, thus placing these children at risk for school failure. To date only a few studies have used observational methods to document the interrelationships between language delays and externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in preschool children. This study was designed to carry out systematic observational data collection of target behaviors in two different preschool contexts (structured and unstructured activities). Sixty 3-and 4-year-old children enrolled at Head Start centers participated the study. They comprised two groups: 30 children with language delays, and 30 children with normal language. The MOOSES software system was used to capture observational data in naturalistic settings. Complete descriptive statistics were generated for all domains and subdomains of the Preschool Language Scale (PLS-3), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III), Caregiver-Teacher Report Form of CBC-TRF/2-5 (CBC-TRF/2-5), and Social Skills Rating System. This study aimed to improve the process of assessing Head Start children, and to validate teacher reports by supplementing them with observational methods. Additionally, these results should also provide a basis for diagnosis and intervention for children with language delays and behavior problems in Head Start classrooms. The information obtained from this study will allow Head Start teachers; early intervention specialists and speech-language pathologists to develop coordinated behavior and language interventions based upon the observed interdependence between language and behavior problems across class contexts.
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
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Behavioral problems of Head Start children with language delays