Inhibitory control and adaptive behaviour in children with mild intellectual disability
Inhibitory control, as one of the basic mechanisms of executive functions, is extremely important for adaptive behaviour. The relation between inhibitory control and adaptive behaviour is the most obvious in cases of behavioural disorders and psychopathology. Considering the lack of studies on this relation in children with disabilities, the aim of our research is to determine the relation between inhibitory control and adaptive behaviour in children with mild intellectual disability.
The sample consists of 53 children with mild intellectual disability. Selection criteria were: IQ between 50 and 70, age between 10 and 14, absence of bilingualism, and with no medical history of neurological impairment, genetic and/or emotional problems. Modified Day–Night version of the Stroop task, and Go-no-Go Tapping task were used for the assessment of inhibitory control. Data on adaptive behaviour were obtained by applying the first part of AAMR (American Association on Mental Retardation) Adaptive Behaviour Scale-School, Second Edition (ABS-S:2).
Significant relationships were determined between some aspects of inhibitory control and the most of assessed domains of adaptive behaviour. Inhibitory control measures, as a unitary inhibition model, significantly predict results on Independent Functioning, Economic Activity, Speech and Language Development, and Number and Times domains of the ABS-S:2.
Inhibitory control, assessed by second part of the Stroop task, proved to be a significant factor in practical (Independent Functioning) and conceptual (Economic Activity, Speech and Language Development, and Numbers and Time) adaptive skills. The first part of the Stroop task, as a measure of selective attention, proved to be a significant factor in language and numerical demands, along with second one. Inhibitory control through motor responses proved to be a significant factor in independent functioning, economic activities, language and self-direction skills.
We can conclude that inhibitory control represents a significant developmental factor of different adaptive behaviour domains in children with mild intellectual disability.