NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1050370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Emotional and Behavioural Problems in Children with Language Impairments and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Charman, Tony; Ricketts, Jessie; Dockrell, Julie E.; Lindsay, Geoff; Palikara, Olympia
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v50 n1 p84-93 Jan 2015
Background: Although it is well-established that children with language impairment (LI) and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) both show elevated levels of emotional and behavioural problems, the level and types of difficulties across the two groups have not previously been directly compared. Aims: To compare levels of emotional and behavioural problems in children with LI and children with ASD recruited from the same mainstream schools. Methods & Procedures: We measured teacher-reported emotional and behavioural problems using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in a sample of 5-13-year-old children with LI (N = 62) and children with ASD (N = 42) attending mainstream school but with identified special educational needs. Outcomes & Results: Both groups showed similarly elevated levels of emotional, conduct and hyperactivity problems. The only differences between the LI and ASD groups were on subscales assessing peer problems (which were higher in the ASD group) and prosocial behaviours (which were higher in the LI group). Overall, there were few associations between emotional and behavioural problems and child characteristics, reflecting the pervasive nature of these difficulties in children with LI and children with ASD, although levels of problems were higher in children with ASD with lower language ability. However, in the ASD group only, a measure of family social economic status was associated with language ability and attenuated the association between language ability and emotional and behavioural problems. Conclusions & Implications: Children with LI and children with ASD in mainstream school show similarly elevated levels of emotional and behavioural problems, which require monitoring and may benefit from intervention. Further work is required to identify the child, family and situational factors that place children with LI and children with ASD at risk of emotional and behavioural problems, and whether these differ between the two groups. This work can then guide the application of evidence-based interventions to these children.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A