Journal of Psychological Abnormalities

ISSN - 2471-9900


Increased Internalizing Problems in Children Aged 4 to 12 With Language Impairments

Moretti Anna, Nobile Maria, Garzitto Marco,

Objective: To evaluate the association between language impairments and behavioural-emotional problems in children aged 4 to 12 (N=186), referred for observation to three Child Psychiatry centres in the North of Italy.

Method: Children received a battery of tests assessing IQ, different linguistic skills and behavioural-emotional profiles. Comparisons were made between children with language impairments in at least one language test and children with unimpaired language development.

Results: Group-related differences emerge on all IQ measures, being higher in children with unimpaired language development. Linguistic impairments are evident on the tests assessing morphosyntactic comprehension and repetition skills. Children with language impairments evidence more internalizing problems than children with unimpaired language development according to CBCL results, especially on the Withdrawn/Depressed scale.

Conclusion: Screening instruments for behavioural-emotional problems should be used regularly during linguistic evaluation. Moreover, the influence of cognitive level on linguistic impairment effects should not be underestimated.