Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Paul R. Hoffman


This study investigated the efficacy of scaffolding strategies within holistic language intervention with six language and phonologically delayed preschool children. The scaffolding condition was compared to two experimental controls using either wh-questions or print awareness techniques. It was hypothesizsd that the use of scaffolding strategies would result in greater semantic displacement, syntactic complexity, and phonological complexity than the use of either the wh-questions or print awareness controls. Efficacy of the conditions was measured by (a) semantic levels, (b) mean length of utterance, and (c) percent of words produced correctly. An alternating treatment was employed in the single-subject study. The subjects included six preschool children ranging in age from 2;10 to 4;10. Many of the measures yielded significant differences between the scaffolding condition and the two control conditions. Differences all favored the scaffolding condition. Results suggested that during the scaffolding condition semantic levels increased, syntactic complexity increased, and phonological complexity increased. Five out of the six subjects increased semantic levels, three out of five subjects increased syntactic complexity, and four out of five subjects increased phonological complexity. Results are discussed relative to current intervention strategies, theoretical constructs, implications for intervention, and future research.