Neuropsychological correlates of social skills




Sherman, Elisabeth Mary Suzanne

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Case studies and a small number of group studies in the neuropsychological literature on adults and children with brain dysfunction suggest that certain cognitive skills are important determinants of social skills. However, standardised measures of social skills designed expressly to measure this construct have not been used previously in the neuropsychological field. The goal of this study was to determine neuropsychological correlates of social skills in children referred for neuropsychological assessment, and compare the findings to the cognitive skills identified in social information processing models from developmental and clinical psychology. In younger children (6 to 9 years), only a measure of conceptual ability was related to social skills. However, from a clinical standpoint, differences in conceptual skills between socially impaired and socially skilled children were minimal. In older children (10 to 13 years), sustained attention and verbal reasoning were strong, unique predictors of social skills. However, only differences in sustained attention between socially skilled and unskilled children were clinically significant. Results were discussed with regards to 1) social information processing models, 2) the effect of age on the cognitive correlates of social skills; and 3) the relationship between insight and social skills.



Learning disabilities, Minimal brain dysfunction