Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences


Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Dr. Nickola W. Nelson

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Clark

Third Advisor

Dr. George Haus

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study was designed to analyze the language abilities of male adolescents with delinquent behavior. It was based on the hypothesis that male adolescents with delinquent behavior would have lower language skills during expressive language tasks. Language skills of male adolescents in a juvenile detention center were examined by comparing 12 grammatical variables, four subtest scores, and one total score from the Screening Test for Adolescent Language (STAL; Prather, Ausdal-Breecher, Stafford & Wallace, 1980). Results indicated that the adolescents with delinquent behavior omitted significantly more words, but also produced significantly more secondary verbs in a narration task. Significantly lower results were also found for the total STAL score and each of its subtests. The results of this study support earlier research that individuals who exhibit behavioral disorders may also have speech or language difficulties. Information from this study may be helpful in planning therapy programs for adolescents with delinquent behavior.