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Title:A Study of Differences in the Communicative Patterns of Normal and Hyperactive Children (Language, Conversation)
Author(s):Michou, Maria
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:This investigation examined the communicative differences between normal and hyperactive children. Ten minutes of conversations of 6 normal, 6 hyperactive, and 6 mixed speaker-listener dyads of male American 2nd and 3rd graders were analyzed according to a taxonomy of linguistic, psycholinguistic, interactional, and compliance variables.
The taxonomy consisted of 7 quantitatively and 5 qualitatively derived variables. The 5 qualitative variables were derived from ratings of 20 adult raters who rated all the conversations for clarity, flow, staying on task, amount of nonsense, and overall organization.
Analyses of variance and Duncan's test of significance revealed significant differences between the 3 groups for Amount of compliance with equipment characteristics--which was one of the quantitative variables--in addition to differences for all 5 qualitative variables.
There were no differences whatsoever for either the Linguistic (Completeness of sentences and Amount of dysfluency), or the Psycholinguistic (Interruptions and overlaps, Amount of imperatives, Amount of aggressive language, and Amount of shouting at partner) variables that were examined.
Concerning the direction of differences for Compliance with equipment characteristics, the hyperactive was significantly different from both the normal and the mixed conversational groups. For the 5 qualitative variables, the normal children were different from the other two groups, while there were no differences between the hyperactive and the mixed groups. This finding was discussed in relation to the specific age-group that was studied. More generally, a likely interpretation is that hyperactive children have a strong influence on their conversational partners towards disorganizing and disorienting them from the purpose of a particular conversation. One possible consequence of such a situation might be that normal children, either consciously or unconsciously, become tired of the conversational behaviors to which they have been "carried away". It is moreover possible that the negative feelings attached are eventually transferred to their hyperactive conversational partners who are also their peers.
The significance of properly functioning arousal mechanisms, including the monitoring of one's level of arousal, for communication were then stressed. Finally, some suggestions for education in interpersonal skills were made, followed by a note of caution concerning generalizations, and suggestions for further studies in the area.
Issue Date:1985
Description:281 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8511644
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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