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Friendships in adolescents with SLI


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Professor Gina Conti-Ramsden discusses issues related to friendships in adolescents with SLI. These slides accompany the RALLI YouTube piece on this theme.

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Friendships in adolescents with SLI

  1. 1. Friendships in adolescents with SLI
  2. 2.  Many parents ask themselves:  Will my child with SLI grow up to have friends?
  3. 3.  Friendships are an important part of human development  We can share our views, thoughts and feelings with friends  Friends can provide companionship and can be a source of support
  4. 4.  We know that children with SLI are sociable  They want to interact with peers and have friends We also know that most children with SLI are pro-social  They are helpful and considerate to others
  5. 5.  But, we also know that some children with SLI are not so readily accepted by peers  They may not be so popular
  6. 6.  Not much is known about friendships when children with SLI grow up and become adolescents This motivated us to carry out a study of friendships in teenagers with SLI
  7. 7. Participants in the Manchester Language Study 120 16-year-olds with  118 typically developing SLI (TD) 16-year-olds
  8. 8. Friendships Example questions: What is special about friends? What does being a friend mean? What is different about a friend? Would you ever confide in a friend about how you are feeling or if you are worried?
  9. 9. Findings Adolescents with SLI  Typically developing (TD) adolescents Considerable diversity in  Most TD adolescents friendships in have good quality of adolescents with SLI friendships
  10. 10. 100 80 60 40 20 0 TD SLI% reporting having one or more friends with shared interests
  11. 11.  We identified a group of adolescents with SLI with good friendships (n = 65) And a group of adolescents with SLI with poor friendships (n = 44).
  12. 12. 88 87 86 85 84 83 Receptive 82 81 80 Good Poor Friendships Friendships16-year-olds with Good or Poor Friendships:Scores on Receptive language (TROG) at age 7 years
  13. 13.  Patterns remained consistent at 11 years And at 16 years Relatively low language ability, particularly receptive language, appears to be a continuous characteristic of poor friendship quality in SLI
  14. 14.  Adolescents with SLI are more likely to experience peer problems/lack of friendships Language abilities in childhood bear on friendship quality through to adolescence
  15. 15. But the good news … Language problems are not a guarantee of social problems Children with SLI are varied in terms of their language characteristics - and their social abilities, too Some children and adolescents with SLI achieve high levels of peer popularity 60% of adolescents with SLI in our study had reported friendship quality in the good range
  16. 16. What can we do?Training, Facilitation, Fostering adaptation Training to support the development of social uses of language, social skills and social self-esteem Facilitation of peer relationships, friendship formation and maintenance Foster the development of positive adaptive/compensatory strategies Self awareness: To know when to seek help/support
  17. 17. References Clegg, J., Hollis, C., Mawhood, L., & Rutter, M. (2005). Developmental language disorders – a follow-up in later adult life. Cognitive, language and psychosocial outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 128-149. Durkin, K. & Conti-Ramsden, G. (2007) Language, social behaviour and the quality of friendships in adolescents with and without a history of specific language impairment. Child Development, 78, 1441-1457. Fujiki, M., Brinton, B. Hart, C., & Fitzgerald, A. H. (1999). Peer acceptance and friendship in children with specific language impairment. Topics in Language Disorders, 19, 34-48. Fujiki, M., Brinton, B., Isaacson, T., & Summers, C. (2001). Social behaviors of children with language impairment on the playground: A pilot study. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 32, 101-113.