Date of Award

Summer 1995

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Kelly, Donna J.

Second Advisor

Linville, Sue Ellen

Third Advisor

Watkins, Ruth


Until the early 1980's pragmatics was not viewed by speech-language pathologists as an important component in the acquisition of a child's language. The importance of social-pragmatics in a young child's language learning process has gained support and acceptance. In 1990, Rice, Sell, and Hadley developed the Social Interactive Coding System, or SICS. The SICS is a descriptive measure that targets the verbal dimension of language on an assertiveness/responsiveness continuum indexed by initiations versus responses for all conversational turns. Although the clinical validity of the SICS has been documented at the group level (i.e., as a group the profiles of specifically language impaired children and normally developing children were found to be significantly different from each other), there is no information available which documents whether the SICS is sensitive to developmental changes in groups of children who are developing language normally. This study targets whether the SICS profiles may be used to differentiate children relative to age and associated levels of linguistic ability.