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ABSTRACT: Toddlers with language delay are at risk for persistent developmental and behavioral difficulties; however, the association between socioemotional/behavior problems and language in young children is not well understood. This study explored socioemotional/behavior problems in a unique sample of toddlers with language delays using a measure developed explicitly for this age group. Toddlers identified by 18 months with receptive and expressive language delay (LD; n = 30) or typical development (TD; n = 61) were evaluated at 18 and 24 months of age using the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA) and the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Compared to toddlers who had TD, toddlers with LD had significantly more concerning scores at 18 and 24 months on all ITSEA domains. The rate of "clinical concern" on most domains was not high in either group, except that >60% of LD toddlers were in the clinical concern range on the Competence domain. Socioemotional/behavioral problems were dimensionally related to receptive and expressive language, with greater language delay associated with more concerning ITSEA scores. Socioemotional and behavioral problems are related to receptive and expressive language abilities in 18- and 24-month-olds, indicating the need for screening of both types of concerns in toddlers identified with potential language delays.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6245647 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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