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ERIC Number: EJ899195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1058-0360
Clinician-Child Interactions: Adjustments in Linguistic Complexity
DeThorne, Laura S.; Channell, Ron W.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, v16 n2 p119-127 May 2007
Purpose: This pilot study examined the extent and nature of associations in the linguistic complexity used by child and clinician within conversational interactions. Method: Correlation analyses focused on semantic and morphosyntactic language sample measures from an experienced speech-language clinician and 29 children with language impairment. Results: Positive associations emerged between a variety of child and clinician measures, even when the effect of child age was removed. The most robust effect related to clinician adjustments in both morphosyntactic complexity and vocabulary diversity associated with differences in children's developmental sentence scores. Conclusions: Within a conversational exchange, the clinician in this study made significant adjustments in her linguistic complexity that were due, at least in part, to the linguistic complexity used by the children with whom she was interacting. Associations were similar to adjustments reported in prior studies of parent and teacher interactions with children with differing language abilities. However, the extent to which these findings generalize to other clinicians needs to be examined. Results from the present study challenge clinicians to dedicate conscious thought toward how their linguistic input should be structured, taking into consideration both the goal of the interaction and each child's profile of linguistic strengths and weaknesses. Directions for future research are also provided. (Contains 3 tables.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Test of Language Development