Author

Rebekah Wada

Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

Advisor/Chair:

Sandra Gillam

Abstract

Studies have indicated that separate use of the technique of priming and recasting can increase the use of complex syntax by children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The current study was devised to examine whether children with SLI differ from children who are typically developing (TD) in the use of relative clauses in response to an intervention composed of a combination of priming and recasting. Twenty-six children (13 with SLI and 13 TD) ranging in age from 6 years, 10 months to 10 years, 11 months participated in the study. Forty pairs of stimulus pictures and sentences for each relative clause type (SR and OR) were created. The examiner presented the picture and read a sentence to the participant. Next, a new picture was shown and the participant created a sentence. The examiner then recasted the participants’ responses into the desired syntactic form. A preliminary ANOVA for the trials to criteria (3 out of 4 consecutive correct responses) for the subject relative and object relative clauses revealed nonsignificant main effects for Order and Group by Order interactions. A two-way mixed ANOVA was conducted to assess differences between the two groups and the two sentence types when compared with the trials to criteria scores. There was a significant effect for group where the SLI group required more trials to reach the criteria for both sentence types than the TD group. Additionally, the subject relative sentences were easier for the participants in both groups (TD and SLI) than the object relative sentences. A regression analysis conducted to predict the trials to criteria scores for both sentence types using the participants’ age, CELF raw score, and UNIT raw score revealed that the CELF raw score was significantly related to the trails to criteria score for the two sentence types. When additional analysis of the group and sentence type interaction was completed with the CELF raw score as a covariate, the group main effect was no longer significant. Analyses of the error patterns observed in the sentences produced by the participants as well as implications of the results are discussed.

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