The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention to increase the production of emotion words in five children with language impairment. Participants were between the ages of 5;11 (years; months) and 11;3 (at the onset of enrollment in treatment) and had been identified with language impairment. Each participant completed between three and six baseline sessions, 20 twenty-minute intervention sessions, and three follow-up sessions. Tasks included story reading, story enactment, and journaling. Each session was recorded and then coded for emotion category (sadness, anger, fear, and surprise), errors made, type of production, and valence agreement. Total emotion word production per category is reported along with percentage of non-overlapping data calculations to determine the effectiveness of treatment for each participant for each emotion word category. Based on percentage of non-overlapping data calculations, treatment was moderately effective for four of the five participants in at least one or more emotion word category. Treatment was mildly effective for all five participants in at least one emotion category. Each participant was observed to make between one and five valence errors throughout the intervention. The errors made by participants often involved the substitution of a simple emotion word category for a more complex emotion word category. Participants were more successful with intervention tasks when provided increased support from the clinician, as seen by most productions being made in response to a question or in response to a cue. While results from this intervention were variable, participants generally made improvements from their participation in this intervention. Utilization of a similar intervention framework with a few alterations based on the limitations observed would be beneficial in future research.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





language impairment, social communication intervention, emotion understanding