Theory of mind, emotional and social functioning, and motor severity in children and adolescents with dystonic cerebral palsy

Dolapo Adegboye*, Annette Sterr, Jean Pierre Lin, Tamsin J. Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether children and adolescents with dystonic cerebral palsy (CP) present with emotional and social difficulties along side motor limitations. Participants/measures Twenty-two verbal and nonverbal children and adolescents with dystonic CP were compared with a normative sample of twenty children and adolescents on measures of theory of mind (ToM), emotion regulation (ER), and social difficulties (SD). Results Higher social and emotional difficulties were found in the dystonic CP group compared to the control group. Nonverbal participants with dystonic CP were found to present with greater social impairment and lower ToM ability than their verbal counterparts. Emotional regulation and hyperactivity and attentional difficulties (HAD) significantly predicted ToM ability and social difficulties. Lower Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level and IQ also contributed to differences in ToM ability. Interpretation Findings support the need for greater attention to the emotional health and social development of children/adolescents with dystonic CP, along with assessments of motor difficulties in the planning and implementation of interventions and individual care plans. Further research is needed to explore links between motor disorder and mental state understanding in this clinical group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-556
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Emotion regulation
  • Social difficulties
  • Theory of mind

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