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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1994. Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology.


Copyright 1994, the author. Used by permission.

A free public-access version is available at


This study examined the effect of a speech-language pathologist using consultative coaching with the primary caregivers (PCG) of two expressive language delayed preschool children. The coaching was designed to improve the PCG’s use of specific communication behaviors and strategies to facilitate growth in the child’s communicative behaviors. Specifically, the consultative coaching encouraged the PCG to (1) follow the child’s lead (2) use self and parallel talk (3) expand on the child’s verbal productions and (4) use open-ended questions. Two dyads, made up of expressive language delayed preschool children and their primary caregivers, were the subjects in single subject multiple-baseline designs.

Child baseline data on receptive and expressive language was taken from the Preschool Language Scale-3 (1992), the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-R (1981), the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test-R (1990), and three language samples. Primary caregiver/child interaction data was taken from 36 language samples. Primary caregiver/child interaction data was taken from 36 language samples (18 per dyad) gathered in baseline, during, and after the study. The child’s and caregiver’s mean length of utterance (MLU); total number of words in a 20-minute period (TNW); and total number of different word roots (NDW) were tabulated with the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts, (SALT, 1990).

Change in other variables was measured. Additional PCG variables were ratios of closed questions to true questions and turn-taking. Child specific variables were ratios of turn-taking, verbal to nonverbal communicative expression, and a type token ration (TTR). Each PCG served as the active intervention agent for increasing the communicative competence of his or her child during a four-month study. The researcher served as a consultative coach.

Advisor: Sheldon L. Stick