Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Lynn S. Bliss, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Melissa Estrin-Kaplan, Ph.D.


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the social-communicative behaviors of toddlers born with Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) in contexts of social interaction and communicative temptation. Nineteen toddlers with VLBW were compared to nineteen NBW toddlers on communicative means, communicative functions, reciprocity and social-affective signaling using the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales. The major findings of this research were: children with VLBW did not differ from NBW children in global measures of social and communicative functioning, children with VLBW were limited in highly specific areas of communication such as fine motor and articulatory coordination, children with VLBW did not differ from chronologically age-matched children in nonverbal social-communicative measures. The results are discussed in terms of early developmental and neurodevelopmental theories.