Everyday psychological functioning in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: does executive functioning play a role?
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2014
© 2014 Mac Keith Press
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 56, Issue 6, pages 572–579, June 2014
How to Cite
Whittingham, K., Bodimeade, H. L., Lloyd, O. and Boyd, R. N. (2014), Everyday psychological functioning in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: does executive functioning play a role?. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 56: 572–579. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12374
- Issue published online: 9 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 NOV 2013
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Grant Number: 1003887
- Career Development. Grant Number: 10037220
- NHMRC Hospital. Grant Number: 631712
To identify whether executive functioning mediates the effect of having unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) on executive functioning in everyday life, psychological functioning, and social functioning.
A cross-sectional cohort of 46 children with unilateral CP (25 males, 21 females; mean age 11y 1mo, SD 2y 5mo; 24 right-sided, 22 left-sided) and 20 children with typical development (nine males, 11 females; mean age 10y 10mo, SD 2y 4mo). Cognitive executive functioning was tested using a neuropsychological battery. Executive functioning in everyday life was measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; teacher and parent reports) and psychological and social functioning by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Analysis included analysis of covariance and bootstrapping.
Children with unilateral CP were found to have significantly decreased functioning, compared with children with typical development, on the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index, the BRIEF Metacognition Index, and on the SDQ emotion, conduct, hyperactivity, and peer problems subscales. Group differences were mediated by cognitive executive functioning for the BRIEF Metacognition Index (teacher and parent report), the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index (parent report only), the SDQ conduct subscale, and the SDQ hyperactivity subscale.
This study suggests that the increased risk of children with unilateral CP experiencing executive functioning difficulties in everyday life, conduct problems, and hyperactivity can be partly explained by decreased cognitive executive functioning abilities relative to children with typical development.