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Publication Detail
Prevalence and functional impact of social (pragmatic) communication disorders
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Saul J, Griffiths S, Norbury CF
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  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
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  • Keywords:
    Social-communication disorder, language, pragmatics
  • Notes:
    � 2022 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the Children's Communication Checklist-2 (CCC-2) for measuring social-pragmatic communication deficits and to ascertain their prevalence and functional impact in a community sample. METHODS: We used parent and teacher responses to the CCC-2 to approximate inclusion (poor social-pragmatic skills) and exclusion (poor structural language skills or autistic symptomatology) criteria for social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SPCD). We tested the prevalence of social-pragmatic deficits in a population-based sample of children (n = 386) aged 5-6 years old using CCC-2 algorithms. We also investigated the academic and behavioural profiles of children with broadly defined limitations in social-pragmatic competence on the CCC-2. RESULTS: Regardless of the diagnostic algorithm used, the resulting prevalence rates for social-pragmatic deficits indicated that very few children had isolated social-communication difficulties (0-1.3%). However, a larger proportion of children (range: 6.1-10.5%) had social-pragmatic skills outside the expected range alongside structural language difficulties and/or autism spectrum symptoms, and this profile was associated with a range of adverse academic and behavioural outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: A considerable proportion of children in the early years of primary school has social-pragmatic deficits that interfere with behaviour and scholastic activity; however, these rarely occur in isolation. Exclusionary criteria that include structural language may lead to underidentification of individuals with social-pragmatic deficits that may benefit from tailored support and intervention.
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