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Childhood rituals and executive functions

By Jeni Tregay, Jane Gilmour and Tony Charman

Abstract

Repetitive and ritualistic behaviours (RRBs) are a feature of both typical and atypical development. While the cognitive correlates of these behaviours have been investigated in some neurodevelopmental conditions these links remain largely unexplored in typical development. The current study examined the relationship between RRBs and executive functions in a sample of typically developing children aged between 37-107 months. Results showed that cognitive flexibility, and not response inhibition or generativity, was most strongly associated with the frequency of RRBs in this sample. In younger children (<67.5 months) cognitive flexibility was significantly associated with “Repetitive Behaviours” but in older children (>67.5 months) cognitive flexibility was associated with both “Just Right” and “Repetitive Behaviour”, suggesting that the association between EF and RRBs may become stronger with age in typically developing children

Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1348/026151008x299737
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.ioe.ac.uk.oai2:4442

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