Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Sandra Rasmussen


AbstractHigh school graduates with language deficits often have poor emotion regulation (ER), enter the workforce unprepared to meet the emotional demands, and experience workforce outcomes that lead to a poor quality of life. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) teach ER, but little is known about ER-targeted speech-language therapy (ERSLT) for high schoolers with mild-to-moderate language impairments and ER deficits (MMLI/ER). This study was designed to explore SLPs’ views and decisions about providing ER-SLT to improve career readiness and employability for students with MMLI/ER. Several studies, the evidence-based practice (EBP) model, and a thematic analysis approach informed this integrative interpretive description design and methodology. Dual analyses of interview data from seven experienced SLPs revealed views that SLPs can, should, and do provide ER-SLT to prepare students with MMLI/ER for future employment. SLPs reported integrating ER-SLT using standard language goals to best leverage their human capital. SLPs’ ER-SLT paradigm included innovative and traditional language therapy that emphasized ER and executive functions through realistic scenarios, modeling, scripts, role-play, incidental teaching, and other EBPs. SLPs’ views and decisions reflected EBPs influenced by (a) personhood, humanistic, and solutionfocused themes; and (b) a strong reliance on SLPs’ own expertise, experience, and preferences. Results from this study may inspire future research and contribute to positive social change through the development of advanced ER-SLT and other educational practices designed to increase the career readiness, employability, and quality of life for young adults with MMLI.