Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.593647
Title: Childhood maltreatment: Developmental effects on executive functioning and inner speech during adolescence
Author: Kirke-Smith, Mimi
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
Research over the past decade indicates that adolescents subjected to childhood maltreatment have more emotional and behavioural disturbances and lower cognitive abilities than typically developing (TD) adolescents. These difficulties are consistent with weaknesses in executive functioning (EF) skills. The main aim of the research reported in this thesis was to investigate whether maltreated adolescents have impairments in EF abilities compared to TD adolescents. It further assessed whether emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) could explain any potential differences, and whether variances in trauma symptomatology had differential effects on EF. A secondary aim was to investigate whether disruption to inner speech during a planning task had a greater effect on the planning efficiency of TD adolescents than maltreated adolescents. To mirror the investigations into EF, EBD as well as variations in trauma symptomatology were also examined. Forty adolescents subjected to child maltreatment, together with 40 TD adolescents for comparison, completed a battery of tasks designed to assess their EF abilities. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were carried out to examine group differences in each of the 10 EF measures. Further analyses were carried out to examine the influence of EBD and trauma symptomatology on EF. To investigate whether disruptions to inner speech during a planning task had a greater effect on the planning efficiency of TD adolescents than maltreated adolescents, participants completed a ‘tower’ task with two conditions: Articulatory Suppression (AS) to prevent the use of inner speech; and foot-tapping to act as a ‘control’ non-speech interference condition. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were carried out to explore group differences in planning efficiency under the two interference conditions. The influences of EBD and trauma symptomatology were also examined. The maltreated adolescents had significantly lower performance than the TD adolescents on most of the EF tasks, even after controlling for EBD. Furthermore, the results indicated that maltreatment type was related to EF abilities. In the AS condition of the tower task, the planning efficiency of maltreated adolescents was significantly poorer than that of TD adolescents, even after controlling for EBD, suggesting they were more vulnerable to disruptions to inner speech. Again, maltreatment type was significantly related. However, there were no group differences in planning efficiency in the foot-tapping condition. These findings support the hypothesis that impairments in EF and inner speech are the underlying reason that adolescents with histories of childhood maltreatment struggle to cope both inside and outside the classroom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.593647  DOI: Not available
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