Children with language impairment (LI) are more likely to be socially withdrawn than their typically-developing peers. This withdrawal can lead to negative outcomes later in life. This study focuses on a subtype of withdrawal labeled as solitary-pretend play, which involves parallel play and solitary-dramatizing. The effectiveness of the Teacher Behavior Rating Scale (TBRS) to measure the construct of solitary-pretend play was considered in a group of 256 children. First, confirmatory factor analysis was used on the entire sample to assess the TBRS questions. The TBRS ratings of 128 children with LI and 128 typically developing peers were then compared, with group and gender as variables. The analyses revealed that the TBRS items intended to measure solitary-pretend play grouped together to measure a single construct. Additionally, significant differences were observed between the groups of children with LI and their typically-developing peers. There was also a significant difference between boys and girls. The interaction between these variables was not significant. These results demonstrated that the TBRS is a viable measure of solitary-pretend play in children and that children with LI are rated as demonstrating higher levels of solitary-pretend play that their typical peers. Boys were also rated as demonstrating more instances of solitary-pretend play compared to girls. This study suggests that the TBRS is an effective way to quickly identify instances of solitary-pretend play in children and that children with LI and boys are more likely to demonstrate instances of solitary-pretend play, which will lead to the needed referrals and interventions to help manage these behaviors. Further research is required to determine the extent to which the influence of group and age has on solitary-pretend play and the extent to which each of the subtypes of withdrawal relate one to another.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





language impairment, social withdrawal, solitary-pretend play