School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Safiyyah Binti Abdul Aziz

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 4857

Start date

Feb 2011

Submission date

Jan 2015

Safiyyah Binti Abdul Aziz


Private and Social Speech During Problem Solving in Children with Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers: Self-Regulation and Self-Talk.


This research aims to explore the developmental patterns of self-regulatory private and social speech in Specific Language Impairment (SLI) children and their typically developing peers by exploring the quality and quantity of their speech. This study also aims to look at differences within the SLI group: children with externalizing behaviour problems and those without externalizing behaviour problems.

Why my research is important

The first aim of this study is to further understand the developmental patterns of self-regulatory speech, both private and social, in relation to problem solving in both typically developing and children with specific language impairments across age groups from 4-7 years old of age. As current data on speech in children with specific language impairment is limited (Sturn & Johnston, 1999), this research attempts to look at age differences in children’s private and social speech between and within these groups.

The second aim of this study is a methodological deviation from the majority of private speech and self-regulation literature. In most modern research, children’s use of language in relation to cognitive function has been studied by analysing children’s private speech (Manning & White, 1990; Reid, Trout, & Schartz, 2005; Vicente & Martinez Manrique, 2011; Adam Winsler, et al., 2007; A. Winsler, Naglieri, & Manfra, 2006). The original Vygotskian notion of self-regulatory speech has been altered from a functionally defined construct to a more behaviourally defined construct. Most self-regulatory speech research has focussed on only speech that is not social, rather than a child’s speech both private and social that serves self-regulatory functions. Thus, “speech for self, has become speech to self”(Sturn & Johnston, 1999). Exceptions to the rule are studies by Furrow (1984), Smith (2007) and Sturn and Johnston(1999) who coded both self-regulatory social and private speech.

The third aim of this study is to look at the differences in private and social speech used for self-regulatory function during problem solving tasks within the SLI group. Children with SLI will be divided into two groups; the first group is children with SLI without externalizing behaviour problems and the second group is children with SLI with externalizing behaviour problems.

The second phase of this research is designed to look at the effects of self-talk training on children’s self-regulatory speech in relation to problem solving. This study seeks to examine whether SLI children will be able to use private speech more effectively in problem solving tasks after self-talk training interventions. A comparison will be made with their typically developing peers to monitor their progression of private and social speech in these tasks over a period of time.


  • School of Psychology


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Friday, 23 January, 2015 3:27 PM