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April 1980

Psychiatric Disorders in Children With Speech and Language Retardation: Factors Associated With Development

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Mental Retardation and Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA Center for the Health Sciences, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(4):423-426. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780170065007

• One hundred children (mean age, 5 to 6 years) who were seen consecutively at a suburban speech and hearing clinic were systematically evaluated for speech and language disorders and psychiatric disorders. Fifty-three were found to have a psychiatric illness. The three groups were compared with the psychiatrically well group to ascertain factors associated with the presence of a psychiatric disorder. Significantly differentiating the ill group were more academic and classroom behavior problems and the presence of both speech and language problems. The two groups were not significantly different in intellectual retardation, hearing impairment, medical factors, nonlanguage development disorders, and a variety of family and demographic factors. Common in both groups were psychiatric illness in parents and first-degree relatives. The data indicate that children with speech and language disorders are highly at risk for the development of significant psychiatric problems, which suggests the need for proper screening and multimodal treatment planning.

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