This study assessed the influence of language on the ability of children identified as being at risk for internalizing behavior disorders to successfully participate in a social skills intervention program. Fourth and fifth grade students participated in Strong Kids: A Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum in Grades 4-8, a program which promotes emotional resiliency. The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fourth Edition (CELF-4) and Children's Communication Checklist-Second Edition (CCC-2) were both completed to obtain a global language score and pragmatic language score. The Teacher's Report Form (TRF), a shortened 10-item version of the Internalizing Student Symptom Scale (ISSC), and a 20-item knowledge based assessment relating to the Strong Kids curriculum were completed prior to and after the intervention. These behavioral assessments were administered in order to determine improvement in academic performance, adaptive functioning, and behavioral/emotional problems with relation to language functioning. It was found that children with higher general language abilities made significantly positive improvements with regard to withdrawal than children with lower general language abilities on measures taken prior to and directly after the Strong Kids curriculum. Additionally, the ISSC revealed that children with lower general language abilities rated themselves as having significantly more positive changes in behavior than children with higher general language abilities on measures taken prior to and six weeks following the Strong Kids curriculum. Pragmatic functioning, determined by the CCC-2, was not associated with significant behavioral improvements between children with high and low pragmatic language skills.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





language impairment, emotional behavioral disorder, internalizing behavioral disorder, Strong Kids, CELF-4, CCC-2, withdrawal