Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Vicki A. Reed


This research project analyzed the types and locations of speech disruptions in adolescents with and without Specific Language Impairment (SLI). The narrative samples of 12 adolescents with SLI and 12 typically developing (TD) adolescents were analyzed. Using Schwalbe’s (2012) classification system, the speech disruptions in the 24 narratives were coded for the type and reason for disruption. The broad category of speech disruptions were classified under revisions, repetitions, filled pauses and orphans, and silent pauses. The reason for the disruption was coded as the part of speech of the word that was determined to have caused the disruption. Comparisons were made between the two cohorts in the number of speech disruptions used, the average length of narrative sample, the types of speech disruptions, and the reason for the disruptions. The types of speech disruptions were broken down into the types of revisions, repetitions, filled pauses and orphans, and silent pauses used. In regard to the reason for the disruptions, it was predicted that the adolescents with SLI would have more disruptions caused by verbs over nouns, but this was not the case in this study. The characteristics found in the adolescents with SLI were expected to mimic those seen in children with SLI from previous research, but the results show that the disorder may manifest itself differently from childhood to adolescence. Possible explanations of the findings and clinical implications were addressed.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 11, 2018