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J Clin Child Psychol. 2000 Mar;29(1):66-75.

Disentangling the impact of low cognitive ability and inattention on social behavior and peer relationships. Conduct Problems Prevention Re search Group.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, USA. kb2@psu.edu

Abstract

Examined the shared and unique contributions of low cognitive ability and inattention to the development of social behavior problems and peer relationships of children at the time of school entry. Kindergarten and first-grade assessments of cognitive ability, inattention and prosocial and aggressive behavior were collected for a multisite, normative sample. Sociometric assessments of peer relationships were collected at the end of first grade. Cognitive ability and inattention both contributed to the prediction of social behavior and peer relationships. Low cognitive ability was particularly predictive of prosocial skill deficits, and social behavior mediated the relation between cognitive ability and social preference. Inattention predicted both prosocial skill deficits and elevated aggressive-disruptive behavior problems. Behavior problems partially mediated the relation between inattention and social preference. Identified subgroups of children with elevated levels of inattention or low cognitive ability showed different patterns of peer problems, with low acceptance characteristic of the low cognitive ability (only) group and high dislike ratings characteristic of the inattentive and inattentive/low-ability group. Implications are discussed for the design of early intervention and prevention programs.

PMID:
10693033
PMCID:
PMC2767167
DOI:
10.1207/S15374424jccp2901_7
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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