Background: A successful transition from primary to secondary school for typically developing (TD) children is associated with academic and psychosocial outcomes. Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) tend to have pervasive needs in both of these domains, yet little is known about their experience of this transition. We have no information concerning the transition for children with low language (LL). Aims: 1) To explore the expectations of the transition to primary school for children with DLD, children with Low-Language (LL) proficiency and their TD peers; 2) to examine the predictors of transition concerns for each group. Sample: Children aged 10-11 in the final year of primary school with DLD (n = 30), LL (n = 29) or TD (n = 48) were recruited from eight UK primary schools in the summer term. Methods: A battery of standardized language and psychosocial assessments, including the School Concerns Questionnaire (SCQ; Rice, Frederickson & Seymour, 2011) were administered. Results: The TD group had significantly lower levels of school concern than the DLD and LL groups, but the DLD and LL groups did not significantly differ. Concerns of children with DLD and LL were predicted by scholastic competence whereas concerns of TD children were predicted by social competence, emotion recognition, and expressive suppression. Conclusions: Results indicate that provision made by primary and secondary schools to facilitate a successful transition may most usefully target different areas depending on pupils’ language level.
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