October 2nd, 2018
Neeltje’s research has shown that the use of adaptive emotion regulation (ER) strategies results in less depressive symptoms for children with a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), in the same way as it does for children without a DLD. In parallel, using maladaptive ER strategies leads to an increase in depressive symptoms for both groups.
This study also adds to the body of literature indicating that children and adolescents with a DLD are more likely to experience depression, and shows that this is likely not a direct a result of the communication impairments themselves. Rather, Neeltje and her colleagues suggest that children with a DLD miss out on important social learning opportunities early in life due to their communication impairments, and therefore do not learn effective ways to cope with their emotions. Thus, these children employ more maladaptive methods, such as worrying or engaging in externalizing behaviours, which in turn leads to higher levels of depressive symptoms.
This study his now in press in the International Journal of Language and Communication disorders – read the full paper here.