Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Study of Negation in Children with and Without Psychiatric Disorders
by Frank, Catherine Mary Lawless, Ed.D., University of Cincinnati, 2004, 109; 10857223
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the comprehension of four forms of negation in children with and without psychiatric disorders. The study involved the use of short scenarios involving four of the forms of negation in English; prohibition, nonexistence, rejection and denial. The participants in this study were two groups of ten children between the ages of 9.5 to 12.6 years of age. The first group was children with emotional/behavioral problems, who were labeled by their home school districts as Severely Emotionally Disturbed. The other group was a matched control group from another area school without the label Severely Emotionally Disturbed. The participants meet individually with the researcher and were read 32 short scenarios (5-6 lines each) and asked two yes/no questions after each story. The yes/no questions asked if the subject of the story wanted something (motivation) and if they got something (outcome).

When first examining the results, it does not appear as if there is a noteworthy difference in a child with psychiatric disorders and one without in their ability to understand negation as defined in this study. The overall percent correct was 96.2% with 94.8% for the group with psychiatric disorders and 97.5% for the control group. The average number of mistakes per participant was 3.3 verses 1.6 for the control group.

When the individual results of each form of negation are further analysed, a different picture begins to develop. In rejection, prohibition and nonexistence, the overall scores do not appear to differ greatly between the two groups, but the actually number of participants responding incorrectly does. Consistently in these three forms, the group with psychiatric disorders had greater numbers of participants scoring incorrectly on one or more questions. This was especially true for the negation form of nonexistence. This discrepancy was also apparent in questions regarding the subject's motives (want) especially in instances where the subject's motive did not match their outcome.

The negative form of denial did not appear to exhibit any of these discrepancies with scores of 160 versus 158 and only 20% of the participants scoring incorrectly from both the control group and the group with psychiatric disorders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kretschmer, Richard
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Education : Special Education
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Special education
Keywords: Emotionally disturbed, Negation, Psychiatric disorders
Publication Number: 10857223
ISBN: 978-0-438-02328-4
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