Individual vs. group treatment (Eidsvåg et al., 2019)

Purpose: This study examines the effects of enhanced conversational recast for treating morphological errors in preschoolers with developmental language disorder. The study assesses the effectiveness of this treatment in an individual or group (n = 2) setting and the possible benefits of exposing a child to his or her partner’s treatment target in addition to his or her own.
Method: Twenty children were assigned to either an individual (n = 10) or group (n = 10, 2 per group) condition. Each child received treatment for 1 morpheme (the target morpheme) for approximately 5 weeks. Children in the group condition had a different target from their treatment partner. Pretreatment and end treatment probes were used to compare correct usage of the target morpheme and a control morpheme. For children in the group condition, the correct usage of their treatment partner’s target morpheme was also examined.
Results: Significant treatment effects occurred for both treatment conditions only for morphemes treated directly (target morpheme). There was no statistically significant difference between the treatment conditions at the end of treatment or at follow-up. Children receiving group treatment did not demonstrate significant gains in producing their partner’s target despite hearing the target modeled during treatment.
Conclusions: This study provides the evidence base for enhanced conversational recast treatment in a small group setting, a treatment used frequently in school settings. Results indicate the importance of either attention to the recast or expressive practice (or both) to produce gains with this treatment.

Supplemental Material S1. Individual data for children treated in Individual or Group therapy sessions. All data points represent generalization to untreated contexts. The first three data points represent pretreatment performance. The final three represent end-treatment performance. Breaks in the data lines indicate absences from therapy. Total number of treatment days is reported in Table 2.

Eidsvåg, S. S., Plante, E., Oglivie, T., Privette, C., & Mailend, M.-L. (2019). Individual versus small group treatment of morphological errors for children with developmental language disorder. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 50, 237–252. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_LSHSS-18-0033