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Hough, Susan D. (2005) LANGUAGE OUTCOMES IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ADOPTED FROM EASTERN EUROPEAN ORPHANAGES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Developmental studies by pediatricians and surveys of adoptive parents of children that have been adopted to the United States from foreign countries indicate that many of these children are experiencing substantial difficulties with the acquisition of their new language. Language difficulties may compromise the adopted child's abilities to understand, negotiate, and adjust to a new family and environment (Jenista, 1993). Reports range from 100% of the children having difficulties (Willig, 1995) to 34% (Groza,1995), with the majority of researchers reporting incidences in the 30-50% range (Johnson et al. 1996; Hough, 1996). These figures are in-line with research from countries such as Norway (Dalen, 2001a; Saetersdal & Dalen, 1987), Denmark (Rorbech, 1997) and Holland (Hoksbergen, 1997). To date, no studies directly assessing the language skills, long-term outcomes, or the types of language difficulties experienced by these children after experiencing an abrupt language switch have been completed. This study evaluated the language skills of a group of 44 school-aged, post-institutionalized Eastern European adoptees (EEA-PI) to determine the extent, and the types, of problems present in the areas of semantics, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, and reading, and explored the factors of institutionalization that might predict language development. Results showed that as a group, EEA-PI children, in comparison to the normative data on the standardized and spontaneous speech measures, performed lower than age expectations on all of the measures, with the exception of measures of listening (receptive language). The disparity within the group's performance was notable. Though institutional factors of time in institution, age of adoption, and time in U.S. did not correlate with measures of receptive and expressive language, they were significant for reading and nonword repetition scores. This research furthers our professional knowledge regarding long-term language outcomes and the selection of appropriate diagnostic measures for these children and other children experiencing early neglect in our country.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hough, Susan
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKaczmarek, Louisekaczmk@pitt.eduKACZMK
Committee MemberFeldman, Heidi
Committee MemberSwisher, M.Virginia
Committee MemberHepting, Nancy
Committee MemberZigmond, Naomi
Date: 29 August 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 April 2005
Approval Date: 29 August 2005
Submission Date: 5 August 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: abrupt language switch; adoptees language; Eastern Eurpean orphanages; Russian orphans
Other ID:, etd-08052005-104820
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:57
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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