Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 187–201

Behavioral correlates of developmental expressive language disorder

  • Marie B. Caultield
  • Janet E. Fischel
  • Barbara D. DeBaryshe
  • Grover J. Whitehurst


The association of behavior problems with preschool language disorders has been documented extensively. However, researchers have typically failed to differentiate subgroups of language-impaired children, to use observational data in documenting the behavior disorders, or to study children at the youngest ages. Using a multimodal assessment, this study examined parent-child interaction and behavior problems in a clearly defined subgroup of language-impaired children, those with developmental expressive language disorder (ELD). These children exhibit a delay in expressive language compared with receptive language and nonverbal cognitive skills. Subjects were identified and studied at the youngest age at which the disorder can be assessed. A group of ELD children, averaging 27 months of age, was contrasted with a group of normally developing children, matched for age, sex, and receptive language ability. Groups were compared on observed parent-child interactions as well as maternal responses on the Parenting Stress Index, the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, and a behavior-related structured interview. ELD children, when compared with normally developing children, exhibited higher levels of negative behavior and were perceived as different by their parents.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie B. Caultield
    • 1
  • Janet E. Fischel
    • 3
  • Barbara D. DeBaryshe
    • 2
  • Grover J. Whitehurst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySUNY at Stony BrookStony Brook
  2. 2.Department of Child Development and FamilyUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsSUNY at Stony BrookStony Brook

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