Disentangling the impact of low cognitive ability and inattention on social behavior and peer relations.
Bellanti, C. J., Bierman, K. L., & Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2000). Disentangling the impact of low cognitive ability and inattention on social behavior and peer relations. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29(1), 66-75.
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.