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The pragmatic language skills of severely neglected 42-month-old children : results of the ELLAN study.

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The goals of this study were twofold: (1) to compare the pragmatic language skills (i.e., social communication skills) of 42-month-old neglected children with those of same-aged non-neglected children and (2) to measure the prevalence of pragmatic difficulties among the neglected children. The study sample was composed of 45 neglected and 95 non-neglected 42-month-old French-speaking children. The Language Use Inventory: French (LUI-French) was completed with all parents. This measure, comprised of 159 scored items divided into 10 subscales, was used to assess the children’s pragmatic skills. The 10th percentile on the LUI-French (95% confidence interval ) was used to identify children with pragmatic difficulties. The neglected children had lower scores than the non-neglected children on all 10 dimensions of pragmatics evaluated (p < .01), as well as lower LUI-French Total Scores (p < .001). The effect sizes of these differences varied between 0.84 and 2.78. Forty-four percent of the neglected children presented significant pragmatic difficulties compared to 4.2% of their non-neglected peers (p < .001). It can be concluded that exposure to neglect significantly compromises children’s pragmatic skills. These results support the need for interventions geared toward neglected children and their families to support the early development of their pragmatic skills.

Child maltreatment, Vol. 24 (3), 244–253 (2019)
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Child neglect, Preschoolers, Child and adolescent development, Cognitive development, Children with disabilities
Licence CC
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