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06-04-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2018

Executive Function and Emotional, Behavioral, and Social Competence Problems in Children with Epilepsy

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2018
Auteurs:
Sarah A. Healy, Nancie Im-Bolter, Janet Olds

Abstract

Many researchers have reported elevated rates of emotional, behavioral, and social competence problems (EBSP) in children with epilepsy. Although executive function has been found to be associated with EBSP in children with typical development, almost no research has looked at the individual components of executive function as potential predictors of EBSP in children with epilepsy. This is surprising given the deficits in executive function in children with epilepsy. We investigated EBSP and executive function in 42 children with epilepsy, aged 6.0 to 18.1 years and found, as expected, that EBSP were associated with executive function in these children even after epilepsy-related variables, such as seizure type, were accounted for. However, different components of executive function were related to different emotional, behavioral, and social competence problems in these children. Shifting of mental sets was a significant predictor of emotional, behavioral, and social competence problems whereas inhibition was a significant predictor of behavioral problems. This suggests that different executive function profiles in children with epilepsy may place them at-risk for developing different types of emotional, behavioral, and social competence problems. These results may help researchers and clinicians develop new techniques to identify and treat emotional, behavioral, and social competence problems in children with epilepsy.

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