Take-Home Points from our Results

  • Across a number of studies we find those children with better executive functioning showing more proficient communicative skills. This suggests two possible things: 1) supporting the development of children’s executive function skills is important for enhancing their sociocommunicative skills, and/or 2) providing a rich social environment with opportunities for communication with others is important ftwo kids playing on a computeror building cognitive skills such as executive functioning.
  • Challenges with appreciating and using a conversational partner’s perspective may underlie some of the interpersonal difficulties associated with ADHD. In some (but not all) of our work we find that it may be the co-occurring challenges with executive functioning that explain the relations between ADHD traits and communicative challenges.
  • The skills needed for children to successfully navigate social contexts may differ according to the developmental stage of the child (and the specifics of the context). That is, as children develop they may need a different set of skills than they needed in the past. This work highlights the importance of considering developmental stage when considering the match between a child’s skills and the social environment.
  • Cognitive skills are not the only factor that are associated with an individual’s ability to think about and use the perspective of a social partner to guide behaviour. Rather, both adult and children’s levels of shyness, depressive symptoms, as well as the nature of their social history impact the way they interpret sociocommunicative information.
  • Young children are remarkably sensitive to others’ perspectives… however they may not always demonstrate their sensitivity due to contextual factors or limits in their cognitive skills. This being said, we also know that children respond well to feedback from conversational partners, with improvements in communication being shown especially following specific feedback. 

Current studies

We are currently running studies for children aged, 3.5 - 4.5 years and 8 - 10 years. View our current studies page for more information.

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