The Role of Pragmatic Language Use in Mediating the Relation Between Hyperactivity and Inattention and Social Skills Problems

Leonard, Melinda A.; Milich, Richard; Lorch, Elizabeth P.
April 2011
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2011, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p567
Academic Journal
Purpose: In the present study, the authors explored whether pragmatic language use was associated with, and perhaps accounted for, the social skills problems that children with varying levels of hyperactivity and inattention experience. Method: A community sample of 54 children aged 9-11 years participated. Pragmatic language use, hyperactivity and inattention, and social skills were examined utilizing data collected from standardized parent-report rating scales. Results: Pragmatic language use fully mediated the relation between hyperactivity and social skills problems and partially mediated the relation between inattention and social skills problems. Further, pragmatic language use provided a unique contribution in the estimate of children's social skills of 21.6% above and beyond the contribution of hyperactivity and 17.2% above and beyond the contribution of inattention. Conclusions: Possible explanations for these mediation results are discussed in terms of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the problems that they experience with social relations.


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