Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Sheila Walker

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Rights Information

© 2016 Rebekah I. Novom


The proposed study will investigate how having a speech and/or language impairment, as well as age, affect children’s self-esteem and levels of social anxiety compared to children who have typical language development (TLD). This cross-sectional correlational study will examine approximately 160 participants between the ages of 5 to 10 who fall into one of four communication type groups: speech impairments (speech sound disorders and/or stuttering), language impairments (specific language impairment), speech and language impairments, or TLD. The participants’ self-esteem, levels of social anxiety, and attitudes about their communication ability will be measured via established scales. Participants will also be asked questions after viewing an animated video depicting dogs with communication impairments, in order to assess their awareness of their communication abilities. Participants with speech and language impairments are expected to have the lowest self-esteem and highest levels of social anxiety, while participants with TLD are expected to have the highest self-esteem and lowest levels of social anxiety. The older participants are expected to experience more problems than the younger participants. Lastly, it is expected that the relationship between the participants’ age, self-esteem, and social anxiety will be mediated by their awareness of their communication impairments, and moderated by their attitudes about their communication impairments. These findings will hopefully increase the knowledge that children experiencing communication impairments may need assistance to aid their psychosocial well-being.