Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Preschoolers with Typical Development Versus Intellectually Able Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties in theory of mind (ToM) and executive
function (EF), which may be linked because one domain (EF) affects the other (ToM). Group differences (ASD vs. typical development) were examined in both cognitive domains, as well as EF’s associations and regressions with ToM. Participants included 29 intellectually able preschoolers with ASD and 30 typical preschoolers, aged 3–6 years. EF tasks included planning and cognitive shifting measures. ToM tasks included predicting and explaining affective and location false-belief tasks. The novelty of this study lies in its in-depth examination of ToM explanation abilities in ASD alongside the role of verbal abilities (VIQ). Significant group differences emerged on most EF and ToM measures, in favor of typically
developing children. Overall in the study group, EFplanning skills, EF-cognitive shifting and VIQ significantly contributed to the explained variance of ToM measures. Implications are discussed regarding the social-cognitive
deficit in ASD.
Kimhi, Y., Shoam-Kugelmas, D., Agam Ben-Artzi, G., Ben-Moshe, I. & Bauminger-Zviely, N. (2014)
Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Preschoolers with Typical Development Versus Intellectually Able Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, DOI 10.1007/s10803-014-2104-z
Last Updated Date : 26/01/2015