Quality of life in children with DLD

Eadie, P., Conway, L., Hallenstein, B., Mensah, F., McKean, C., & Reilly, S. (2018). Quality of life in children with developmental language disorder. International journal of language & communication disorders, 53(4), 799-810. https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12385


What was the aim?


Research has shown language issues can impact a child’s quality of life. However, it is unclear how language issues and social-emotional problems affect quality of life. This study assessed quality of life and social-emotional problems for 872 children with and without DLD at ages 4,7 and 9. Children with DLD were grouped into mild, moderate, and severe DLD.


  • Social-emotional problems are measured by emotional symptoms, conduct and peer problems, inattention, and prosocial behaviour.


What was found?


  • At ages 4 and 7, quality of life was similar for children with and without DLD. However, children with DLD had a lower quality of life for school functioning.

  • At age 9 quality of life was significantly lower for children with DLD than children without DLD.

  • Quality of life for children with DLD declined over the years. However, quality of life remained the same for children without DLD.

  • There were no differences in reported quality of life between mild, moderate, and severe DLD, except that children with severe DLD scored lower on school functioning at age 9.

  • For all children language skills at 7 years old predicted quality of life at age 9.

  • For children with DLD, emotional symptoms and peer problems were predictors of lower quality of life at age 9.


What does it mean?


The results show children with DLD, regardless of severity, have a lower quality of life at age 9 compared to children without DLD. Social-emotional problems as well as language issues contribute to the lower quality of life for children with DLD. Interventions could focus on improving language and social skills for all children with DLD to improve quality of life.


Where can I read this paper?


This paper is not open access. If you wish to read the full paper, please email E-DLD@bath.ac.uk and request a copy of the paper.