Children with language impairment (LI) often exhibit social difficulties along with language issues that can affect their friendships with peers. This study sought to identify the self-reported social networks of children with LI and compare them to the self-reported social networks of children with typical language development. Sixteen children with LI (9 girls and 7 boys) between the ages of 5-11 years, and sixteen children with typical language development matched for age and gender were studied. Children were asked to name interactants in four social circles (Blackstone & Hunt Berg, 2003): family, friends, acquaintances, and paid interactants. A parent also completed a shortened version of this questionnaire. Additionally, children completed an informal picture task (Fujiki, Brinton, & Todd, 1996) to determine the number of peers they interacted with in various activities (e.g., eating lunch at school). The number of family and close friends named by children in each group did not significantly differ. Children with typical language skills did name more interactional partners who were considered to be casual peer acquaintances and paid interactants than did the children with LI. Parent and child responses differed on several of the comparisons. The groups also differed on the number of peers named on the picture task activity, replicating previous results.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





language impairment, parent report, school-age children, self-report, social circles, social communication, social networks