Perceived imposition and requests among normal and learning disabled children



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Request strategies reflect both social and linguistic competence, because they involve the student's perceptions of what is appropriate for the situation encoded within a linguistic form (Garvey, 1974; Donahue, 1981). As such, requests illustrate one aspect of children's interpersonal understanding. The purpose of the present study was to explore children's use of request strategies as a function of perceived imposition. This study expanded on previous related studies (Gunn, 1983; Schunk & Gunn, 1983) by determining whether there were differences in request strategy usage due to type of student (normal and learning disabled) and grade level (third and fifth grade). Schunk and Clark (1983) found that adults varied their request strategies depending on the perceived imposition of the request on listener. For this reason, it was hypothesized that the use of politeness strategies would be greater with requests judged higher in imposition. Donahue (1981) found that although LD children did not differ from nondisabled children in the variety of language strategies produced, the LD children used these language strategies more ineffectively or inappropriately. Thus, normal children were expected to exhibit greater use of politeness strategies than LD children. In addition, this study included third and fifth graders to determine the developmental range of request strategy usage in relation to effective recognition and understanding of imposition variables. It was hypothesized that fifth graders would make greater use of politeness strategies than third graders. [...]



Learning disabilities, Children--Language, Interpersonal communication in children