Social information processing skills link executive functions to aggression in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability

M.M. van Rest, Walter Matthys, M. van Nieuwenhuijzen, M.H.M. de Moor, Aart Vriens, Carlo Schuengel

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Executive Functions (EFs) have been associated with aggression in children and adolescents. EFs as higher-order cognitive abilities are assumed to affect cognitive functions such as Social Information Processing (SIP). We explored SIP skills as a mediating mechanism linking EFs to aggression in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID with IQ from 50-84), a high risk group for aggressive behaviors and EF impairments. A total of 153 adolescents (Mage = 15.24, SD = 1.35; 54% male) with MBID participated. Focused attention, behavioral inhibition, and working memory were tested with multiple neurocognitive tasks to define latent EF constructs. Participants responded to a video-based SIP task. A latent construct for aggression was defined by caretaker, teacher, and adolescent self-reports of aggression (Child Behavior Check List, Teacher Report Form, and Youth Self Report). Structural equation modeling was performed to test mediation. Results were consistent with mediation of the relation between focused attention and aggression by SIP, namely via hostile interpretations and self-efficacy for aggression. Behavioral inhibition was linked to aggression, but this relation was not mediated by SIP. The relation between working memory and aggression was mediated by SIP, namely via hostile interpretations, aggressive response generation and via self-efficacy for aggressive responses. Bearing the cross-sectional design in mind, support was found for SIP skills as a mechanism linking EFs, in particular focused attention and working memory, to aggression, providing a viable explanation for the high vulnerability of adolescents with MBID for aggression
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-598
Number of pages26
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Volume25
Issue number5
Early online date16 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression
  • Executive Function
  • Social Information Processing
  • Working memory
  • focused attention
  • mild intellectual disability

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social information processing skills link executive functions to aggression in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this