Exploring the Social Language Use of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Children with ADHD are more likely to experience social difficulties than their typically developing peers. These difficulties have been associated with a number of negative outcomes that can adversely impact on children’s development. Although the exact causes of these social difficulties are unclear, one possible explanation is that social language use may play a role in the social difficulties frequently observed in children with ADHD. The present study examined whether differences in the functional language use of children with ADHD within the context of interpersonal interaction was associated with their social functioning. For this purpose, the participants in the study were fifty-one children (M = 11.82 years) who had been diagnosed with ADHD four years previously and their matched controls. The children were assessed using a number of measures, including parent/teacher ratings and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) in their social conversation task with an adult confederate. Analyses found that children in the ADHD group have lower ratings of social functioning and exhibited differences in aspects of their language when compared to their typically developing peers. Hierarchical multiple regressions also found that aspects of language use were related to children’s social functioning, while cross-lagged correlations indicated that the language use of children were related to the language use of adult confederates. These findings demonstrate the association between ADHD and social functioning, and also provide evidence suggesting that language use may play a role in children’s social functioning and also influence the social language use of others.
Advisor: Tripp, Gail; Schaughency, Elizabeth; Murachver, Tamar
Degree Name: Master of Science
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: ADHD; Social; Language; Social functioning; Children; Psychology; LIWC
Research Type: Thesis