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ERIC Number: EJ874632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1541-6224
Adolescent Females with Communication Disorders Involved in Violence: Educators' Opinions
Montgomery, Judy K.; Sanger, Dixie; Moore-Brown, Barbara J.; Smith, Leslie; Scheffler, Marilyn
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, v1 n3 p237-251 Jul 2003
This study focused on increasing the awareness of educational leaders about the relationship between students with communication disorders and violence. A review of selected research on adolescent females with language problems residing in a correctional facility served to support a survey study and extend discussions about the need for educational leadership within this population. Ninety-six speech-language pathologists, special educators, and teachers were surveyed about their training and knowledge on the role of communication in violence. Findings suggested the majority of participants agreed on the importance of planning prevention programs. However, they did not receive training and were uncertain about providing services to students with communication disorders. Implications are provided for administrators and other school leaders to consider when planning programs. During the past ten years, violence has been described as "epidemic" and has permeated many aspects of our lives not only in large urban cities but also in small towns throughout the United States (Mercy & Rosenberg 1998; Moore, 1994). One aspect affected by violence is education. Challenges involving violent acts are an on-going concern for administrators attempting to address academic, behavioral, and social needs of children and adolescents. Educators often discuss prevention, intervention, and social policy when examining issues pertaining to violence and education. However, their concerns frequently center on safe schools, firearms, drugs, and youth gangs (Flannery&Huff, 1999), rather than on the connection among language problems, poor communication behaviors, and violence in school settings. Educators' views on the role of communication and violence for students with communication disorders are not known. Over a period of more than 30 years, research has documented the prevalence and types of communication disorders of children and youth involved in violence. For example, a number of researchers have cited the incidence of communication problems (24%-84%) among juvenile delinquents (Cozad & Rousey, 1966; Taylor, 1969). Interestingly, despite the increase in statistics on girls arrested for violent crimes (Mann, 1984), until 1997 few studies focused on the communication behaviors of female teenagers in correctional facilities. Since that time, an ethnographic study of 78 female incarcerated delinquents revealed that 22% (n = 17/78) displayed language problems (Sanger, Creswell, Dworak, & Schultz, 2000). More recently, research has reported that as many as 19% (n = 13/67) of female teenagers residing in a correctional facility were potential candidates for language services (Sanger, Moore-Brown, Magnuson, & Svoboda, 2001; Sanger, Moore-Brown, Montgomery, Rezac, & Keller, 2003). However, it is not known if administrators and general or special educators are aware of findings such as these. It is unclear whether sufficient numbers of educators understand how a student's language and communication skills may serve as one of many factors relating to violence. Program planning for students with communication problems who are involved in violence often does not account for these disabilities. It has been found that programs for children involved in violence focus on more obvious behavioral concerns rather than language challenges (Sanger et al., 2001). Programs in schools may also include information about social skills training but fail to include sufficient strategies to address important language components such as vocabulary, figurative language, or conversational skills. If educators are unaware of the important role that language and communication have in violence, are they prepared to refer children and adolescents for language testing? Hence, if students are not referred and identified for language services, are some of our children "falling through the cracks" and being overlooked for special services? This paper will review selected research that addresses the links between students with language and communication disorders and violence. Qualitative information will focus on how females residing in a correctional facility describe their learning experiences in school. Additionally, preliminary survey findings of special educators and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) regarding their training and knowledge of the role of communication and violence will be provided. Information will support the need for additional educational leadership in addressing the needs of young women who are in trouble with the law
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A