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Social Confidence in Early Adulthood among Young People with and without a History of Language Impairment

Durkin, K and Toseeb, U and Botting, N and Pickles, A and Conti-Ramsden, G (2016) Social Confidence in Early Adulthood among Young People with and without a History of Language Impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. ISSN 1092-4388 (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose: The purposes were to test the predictions that lower self-esteem and higher shyness in individuals with a history of language impairment (LI) would continue from adolescence into early adulthood and that those with LI would have lower social self-efficacy in early adulthood. Method: Participants were young people with a history of LI and a comparison group of age-matched peers (AMPs). Both groups were tested at ages 17 and 24 years. Participants completed measures of language ability, nonverbal IQ, shyness, global self-esteem and (at age 24 only) social self-efficacy. Results: Young adults with LI scored lower than AMPs on self-esteem, higher on shyness, and lower on social self-efficacy (medium to large effect sizes). In line with expectations, in the group with LI language ability in adolescence predicted shyness in young adulthood, which in turn was negatively associated with self-esteem. There was also a direct association between language ability in adolescence and self-esteem in young adulthood. Conclusions: Young people with a history of LI are likely to be entering adulthood less socially confident than their peers. Interventions may be desirable for young adults with LI and the present findings indicate social self-efficacy as a key area of social confidence that calls for practitioners’ attention.

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