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Keywords:

  • Extralinguistics;
  • impulsivity;
  • conduct disorders;
  • anxiety disorders

Abstract Nine children with conduct and nine with anxiety disorder participated in the study. The subjects were requested to respond to verbal tasks (counting, picture description, story telling). Disturbance of conduct was associated with short initial hesitation before speaking. It is suggested that the initial hesitation variables are measures of reflection and cognitive planning. Anxiety across subjects was associated with increased breath rate and lower output of speech per breath. It is suggested speech breath variables are reliable measures of anxiety. Implication for the diagnosis and management of child psychiatric disorders are discussed.