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Over the years previous research has confirmed a high incidence of communication problems among male and female juvenile delinquents Researchers have documented challenges in a broad range of communication skills including articulation fluency semantics morphology and syntax Cozad Falconer Basically these findings resulted from assessment procedures that relied primarily on standardized tests rather than analyses of conversational skills or other means of assessing how individuals use language functionally in their everyday social interactions Standardized speech and language tend to focus on mastery of discrete skills and rarely assess communication performance in real life situations Standardized testing has shown that juvenile delinquents have a high incidence of communication problems A productive study was conducted to explore communication problems in juvenile delinquents There were forty-five female participants residing at a correctional institution for adjudicated youths Ages of the participants ranged from fourteen to eighteen years They had to be convicted of committing one or more misdemeanor or felony offenses Twenty-nine of the participants were Caucasian six were Native American four were African-American four were Hispanic and two were Asian American They were all from lower socio-economic or working class families This has all been referred from their parents occupations Institutional and school records revealed that all participants had IQ scores ranging from 81-116 About one-third of the youths had received special education services at some point during their education This included seven participants who had received services for learning disabilities Two of the seven plus four more had received speech services for articulation problems and four had received services for behavioral disorders All participants engaged in conversations about communication issues This was done either during 75-minute class periods for 9 days over a 2-week period or during 40-minute class periods for 15 days over a 3-week period There were a total of eight groups ranging in size from five to eight adolescents They participated in class discussions with the primary investigator and a research
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