Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Marilyn Kertoy


Language skills provide preschoolers with the foundational skills needed to socially interact, but little is known about the relationship between specific language skills and broad constructs of social competence. Sixteen preschoolers between 3-5 years with varying language abilities were recruited. Descriptive and correlational analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between speech, syntax, semantics, coherence, and literacy skills and social cooperation, social independence and social interaction. The main finding of this study showed that literacy skills as measured by the Numbers, Letters and Words subtest (K-SEALS) and word knowledge and retrieval as measured by the Semantics subscale (CCC-2) were significantly correlated with Social Independence and Social Interaction (PKBS-2) respectively. Additional findings identified significant correlations between core and pragmatic language skills as well as significant associations between pragmatic language and social competence. These findings support the notion that the content of preschoolers’ conversations rather than the accuracy of their speech or syntax is associated with success in social interaction and social independence. The findings of this study suggest that assessments of preschoolers should include a broad range of language and social skills, including word knowledge and access.