Inconsistencies between subjective reports of cognitive difficulties and performance on cognitive tests are associated with elevated internalising and externalising symptoms in children with learning-related problems

Williams, Kira L., Holmes, Joni ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6821-2793, Farina, Francesca, Vedechkina, Maria, , CALM Team and Bennett, Marc P. (2022) Inconsistencies between subjective reports of cognitive difficulties and performance on cognitive tests are associated with elevated internalising and externalising symptoms in children with learning-related problems. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. ISSN 2730-7166

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Abstract

Children with learning difficulties are commonly assumed to have underlying cognitive deficits by health and educational professionals. However, not all children referred for psycho-educational assessment will be found to have deficits when their abilities are measured by performance on cognitive tasks. The primary aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of this inconsistent cognitive profile (ICP) in a transdiagnostic sample of children referred by health and education service providers for problems related to attention, learning and memory (N = 715). A second aim was to explore whether elevated mental health problems were associated with ICPs. Findings suggest that approximately half of this sample could be characterised as having an ICP. Cognitive difficulties, whether identified by parent ratings or task performance, were associated with elevated internalising and externalising difficulties. Crucially, a larger discrepancy between a parent’s actual ratings of a child’s cognitive difficulties and the ratings that would be predicted based on the child’s performance on cognitive tasks was associated greater internalising and externalising difficulties for measures of working memory, and greater externalising difficulties for measures of attention. These findings suggest that subjective cognitive difficulties occurring in the absence of any task-based performance deficits may be a functional problem arising from mental health problems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The Centre for Attention Learning and Memory (CALM) research clinic is based at and supported by funding from the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit University of Cambridge. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).
Uncontrolled Keywords: externalising and internalising difficulties,functional cognitive difficulties,inattention,working memory (wm),developmental and educational psychology,psychiatry and mental health,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3204
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2022 10:30
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2022 05:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/86592
DOI: 10.1007/s10802-022-00930-4

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