Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

Communicative Sciences and Disorders


Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Faculty Mentor Department

Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Faculty Mentor

Ginger Collins


Miranda Warning, Youth Offenders, Miranda Comprehension, Adolescent, Language

Subject Categories

Juvenile Law | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


Background: Numerous studies have established that the linguistic complexity of the Miranda warning often results in poor comprehension, particularly for adolescents. Several studies have shown that persons with language disorders are overrepresented in U.S. prisons. Additionally, a few studies have shown a strong positive correlation between language scores and scores on Miranda assessments. These findings suggest that individuals with language disorders are at risk for poor comprehension of their Miranda rights, placing them at greater risk of waiving those rights, which can lead to incarceration.

Aims: The goal of this preliminary investigation is to examine how well adolescents with typical language understand the Miranda warning. This investigation will contribute to a larger study examining differences in Miranda comprehension and self-perception of comprehension in adolescents with high language skills, low language skills, and impaired language skills.

Methods and Results: Participants were three 16-year-old male high school students with typical language skills. Each participant was administered a standardized, comprehensive language test, a standardized test of nonverbal intelligence, and portions of a standardized Miranda comprehension test. Results revealed that each participant demonstrated average to high language skills however still struggled with certain aspects of Miranda.

Conclusions: Further research is needed, however the results suggest that adolescents do not fully understand Miranda and would benefit from explicit instruction.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




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