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Strengths and weaknesses in executive functioning in children with intellectual disability

Danielsson, H., Henry, L., Messer, D. J. and Ronnberg, J. (2012). Strengths and weaknesses in executive functioning in children with intellectual disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33(2), pp. 600-607. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2011.11.004


Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in each group. Children with ID performed on par with the MA group on switching, verbal executive-loaded working memory and most fluency tasks, but below the MA group on inhibition, planning, and non-verbal executive-loaded working memory. Children with ID performed below CA comparisons on all the executive tasks. We suggest that children with ID have a specific profile of executive functioning, with MA appropriate abilities to generate new exemplars (fluency) and to switch attention between tasks, but difficulties with respect to inhibiting pre-potent responses, planning, and non-verbal executive-loaded working memory The development of different types of executive functioning skills may, to different degrees, be related to mental age and experience.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2012, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Executive functioning; Intellectual disability; Inhibition; Executive-loaded working memory; Switching; Fluency; Planning
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Language & Communication Science
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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