Verbal dichotic listening in boys at risk for behavior disorders

D. S. Pine, G. E. Bruder, G. A. Wasserman, L. S. Miller, A. Musabegovic, J. B. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The association between deficits in verbal processing skills and disruptive psychopathology remains one of the most frequently replicated findings in all of child psychiatry. This study uses a dichotic consonant- vowel listening test to examine the potential neural basis for this association. Method: A series of 87 young boys recruited from a sample at risk for disruptive disorders received standardized psychiatric, neuropsychological, and language skills assessments. Approximately 1 year later, these boys received a reassessment of their psychiatric status and a test that assesses the neural basis of language-processing ability, a dichotic consonant-vowel listening test. Results: Disruptive psychopathology predicted reduced right ear accuracy for dichotic syllables, indicative of a deficit in left hemisphere processing ability. Deficits in reading and language ability also correlated with right ear accuracy for dichotic syllables. Conclusions: Boys with disruptive behavior disorders, relative to at-risk but nondisruptive boys, exhibit a deficit in verbal processing abilities on dichotic listening tasks. This deficit in verbal processing ability is also manifested as low scores on standardized tests of reading achievement and language comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1473
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997


  • Children
  • Dichotic listening
  • Disruptive psychopathology
  • Lateralization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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