Published Online: August 26, 2014
Published in Print: August 27, 2014, as Language

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"The Role of Language Ability and Self-Regulation in the Development of Inattentive–Hyperactive Behavior Problems"

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Can limited speech silence the better angels of students' nature?

Research from Indiana University Bloomington finds that some children with poor language skills not only have trouble communicating with others but can also lack the "running internal monologue" that helps them control their behavior.

After controlling for students' sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, prior levels of behavior problems, academic performance in mathematics, reading, and short-term memory, researchers at the Cognitive Development Lab at IU found students' language skills predicted their later behavior problems more strongly than behavior problems predicted later language skills. In the tests of self-regulation, researchers found a link: Children with lower language skills had less "self-directed speech" and were less able to self-regulate in tasks requiring impulse control.

Vol. 34, Issue 02, Page 5

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