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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Educational and interpersonal uses of home computers by adolescents with and without specific language impairment

Durkin, K. and Conti-Ramsden, G. and Walker, A. and Simkin, Z. (2009) Educational and interpersonal uses of home computers by adolescents with and without specific language impairment. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27 (1). pp. 197-217. ISSN 0261-510X

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Abstract

Many uses of new media entail processing language content, yet little is known about the relationship between language ability and media use in young people. This study compares educational versus interpersonal uses of home computers in adolescents with and without a history of specific language impairment (SLI). Participants were 55 17-year-olds with SLI and 72 typically developing peers. Measures of frequency and ease of computer use were obtained as well as assessments of participants' psycholinguistic skills. Results showed a strong preference for interpersonal computer use in both groups. Virtually all participants engaged with interpersonal new media, finding them relatively easy to use. In contrast, one third of adolescents with SLI did not use educational applications during a typical week. Regression analyses revealed that lower frequency of educational use was associated with poorer language and literacy skills. However, in adolescents with SLI, this association was mediated by perceived ease of use. The findings show that language ability contributes to new media use and that adolescents with SLI are at a greater risk of low levels of engagement with educational technology.