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The role of social cognition and prosocial behaviour in relation to the socio-emotional functioning of primary aged children with specific language impairment

Bakopoulou, I; Dockrell, JE; (2016) The role of social cognition and prosocial behaviour in relation to the socio-emotional functioning of primary aged children with specific language impairment. Research in Developmental Disabilities , 49-50 pp. 354-370. 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.12.013. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Children with language impairments often experience difficulties with their socio-emotional functioning and poorly developed prosocial behaviour. However, the nature of the association between language impairment and difficulties with socio-emotional functioning remains unclear. The social cognition skills of a group of primary-aged children (6-11 years old) with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) were examined in relation to their teachers' ratings of socio-emotional functioning. SAMPLE: Forty-two children with SLI were individually matched with 42 children for chronological age and non-verbal cognitive ability, and 42 children for receptive language ability. The children all attended mainstream primary schools or one Language Unit. METHODS: Four aspects of social cognition were directly assessed: emotion identification, emotion labelling, inferring the causes of emotions, and knowledge of conflict resolution strategies. The children's socio-emotional functioning was assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire (SDQ), a standardised measure, completed by their teachers. Associations between children's performance on tasks of social cognition and children's socio-emotional functioning were explored. RESULTS: Significant group differences were found for all social cognition tasks. The SLI group was rated to experience significantly more problems with socio-emotional functioning by their teachers than both control groups, indicating problems with all aspects of socio-emotional functioning. Social cognition and prosocial behaviour, but not language ability, predicted teacher-rated behavioural, emotional and social difficulties for the SLI group. CONCLUSION: The results challenge current understanding of socio-emotional functioning in children with SLI by pointing to the crucial role of social cognition and prosocial behaviour. Factors other than expressive and receptive language play a role in the socio-emotional functioning of children with SLI.

Type: Article
Title: The role of social cognition and prosocial behaviour in relation to the socio-emotional functioning of primary aged children with specific language impairment
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.12.013
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2015.12.013
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Prosocial behaviour, Social cognition, Socio-emotional functioning, Specific language impairment
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475122
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