Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Poor early language skills linked to later behavior and attention problems

From the news release:
Many previous studies have shown a correlation between behavior problems and language skill. Children with behavior problems, particularly those with attention deficits and hyperactivity, such as in ADHD, often have poor language skills. Whether one of these problems precedes the other and directly causes it was until recently an open question.

In a longitudinal study published last year, Petersen, Bates and several others concluded that the arrow points decisively from poor language ability to later behavioral problems, rather than the reverse. The current study shows that it does this by way of self-regulation, a varied concept that includes physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral control. Self-regulation is integral to children’s capacity to adapt to social situations and to direct their actions toward future goals. The absence of self-regulation abilities is a key predictor and component of future behavior problems.

A number of studies have sought to explain the role of language in the development of self-regulation in terms of the cognitive and neurological mechanisms by which they are linked. This study traces the way they unfold over time and the role of self-regulation in this process.
Source: Indiana University

Read full news release
Go to published study:  The role of language ability and self-regulation in the development of inattentive–hyperactive behavior problems. Development and Psychopathology, available on CJO2014. doi:10.1017/S0954579414000698. 

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