Teacher-Reported Behavior Problems and Language Delays in Boys and Girls Enrolled in Head Start

Kaiser, Ann P.; Xinsheng Cai; Hancock, Terry B.; Foster, E. Michael
November 2002
Behavioral Disorders;Nov2002, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p23
Academic Journal
Behavior problems, social skill deficits, and language delays were examined in 332 three-year-old children enrolled in Head Start. Teachers completed the Caregiver Teacher Report Form/2-5 (CTRF/2-5) and the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS, Pre-School Version). Language skills were assessed using the Preschool Language Scale (PLS-3) and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III). Findings indicated that this population is at elevated risk for behavioral, social, and language problems. Boys showed elevated levels of behavior problems across all measures. Both boys and girls displayed low language scores, with boys significantly lower than girls on both auditory and expressive skills. Boys with behavior problems were more likely to have low language skills than were their male peers without behavior problems; this pattern was not as clearly defined for girls. Teacher years of experience, child gender, and PLS-3 scores were significant predictors of CTRF scores. The results of the study are discussed in terms of strategies for identifying children at highest risk for persistent problem behavior.


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