This thesis examines the efficacy of a social communication intervention in increasing the emotion word productions in school-aged children with language impairment (LI). The study had a multiple baseline single subject design in which 5 children between the ages of 6 and 11 received 20 intervention sessions, each lasting 20 minutes. Intervention activities included reading and discussing children's books, enacting the stories using toys, and journal writing to reflect on experiences in each session. Emotion word productions during intervention sessions were coded for total productions within the categories of happiness, anger, sadness, fear, surprise, and disgust. Productions were also coded for type (spontaneous, in response to a question, cued, or imitated) and valence agreement. The percentage of non-overlapping data (PND) was calculated (measuring the overall percentage of sessions in which the participants produced more emotion words than they did in the baseline session with the most emotion word productions) in order to show efficacy of the intervention for each participant. According to PND calculations, the intervention was generally effective for 3 of the 5 children and was effective in at least one emotion category for each participant. Participants demonstrated no difficulties with valence agreement. Data regarding types of production indicated that the majority of emotion word productions during the intervention were elicited in some way rather than spontaneous. These results suggest that children with LI increased the number of emotion word productions during the intervention, but were still dependent upon the scaffolding provided by the intervention.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





language impairment, school-aged children, social communication intervention, story enactment, social competence, emotional intelligence