Extralinguistic speech characteristics of children with conduct and anxiety disorder

Kotsopoulos, Sotirios (1983) Extralinguistic speech characteristics of children with conduct and anxiety disorder. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate in child psychiatric patients the associations between reflection-cognitive planning and temporal extralinguistic measures, and between anxiety and speech breath measures. It was postulated that patients with conduct disorder will be significantly less reflective while those with anxiety disorder will be significantly more anxious. Eighteen children were selected to participate in the study; nine fulfilled the criteria of conduct and nine those of anxiety disorder of the tri-axial classification scheme. Independent measures were also taken on the Behaviour Problem Checklist (Peterson-Quay), Junior Eysenck Personality Inventory and Matching Familiar Figures Test. In the experiment, which was carried out during the routine psychiatric assessment, the subjects were requested to respond to verbal tasks (counting, picture description, story telling). -- As predicted, disturbance of conduct was associated with short initial hesitation (delay) measures. This was shown both in the comparison between the conduct and anxiety disorder groups and in the correlation between conduct characteristics and initial hesitation. The average length of pauses was not found to vary with any of the independent measures. There was a significant negative association between frequency of pauses and 'Extraversion' on the picture description task. The initial hesitation and pausing variables were independent of each other. As predicted also, anxiety across subjects was associated with increased breath rate and lower output of speech per breath. The conduct and anxiety disorder groups were not distinguished from each other on speech breath measures; independent measures of anxiety showed also that children with conduct disorder were as anxious as those with anxiety disorder. -- It is suggested that the initial hesitation variables are measures of reflection and cognitive planning. Children with disturb-ance of conduct reflect little when responding to a verbal task; likewise they probably reflect little in planning their actions. Short reflection is a cognitive characteristic associated with disturbance of conduct while anxiety is an emotion not specific to anxiety disorders. It is concluded that extralinguistic measures may be useful in the diagnosis and management (cognitive behaviour therapies) of child psychiatric disorders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5634
Item ID: 5634
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 174-181.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Child psychiatry; Paralinguistics
Medical Subject Heading: Child Psychiatry; Linguistics

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