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Title: Metacognition in children with autistic spectrum disorder : a systematic review (literature review) ; Metacognition in children : how do the emergent awareness abilities of prediction, error detection and evaluation change by age? (empirical paper)
Author: Jenkin, R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 1474
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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LITERATURE REVIEW Objective: Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may struggle with their metacognition due to having poor theory of mind; i.e., their lack of awareness of how others are feeling may also mean they lack self-awareness of their own cognitive strengths and weaknesses. This systematic review collated research that investigated metacognitive skills of emergent awareness (specifically prediction, error detection, and evaluation of own performance on a task) in children with and without ASD. The review addressed the question: do children with ASD have diminished emergent awareness compared to neuro-typical children? Method: Systematic searches were conducted in PsycINFO, Ovid Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and Web of Science databases with specific search terms. Studies were published before December 2018. A total of 1,247 records were identified, which reduced to 620 once duplicates were removed. Screening these by title and abstract resulted in 24 full-text articles being assessed for eligibility. Fourteen were excluded and so ten articles were included in the review. Results: No included articles explored the emergent awareness ability of error detection in children with ASD. The studies suggested children with ASD did not have diminished prediction ability compared to those without ASD, but results were more mixed for the emergent awareness skill of evaluation. Conclusions: Not all components of emergent awareness appear to be diminished in children with ASD compared to typically developing children. Further research is required to address limitations of the lack of valid and reliable measures and experimenter blinding. EMPIRICAL PAPER Objective: Metacognition can be defined as an individual's knowledge and beliefs about their thinking abilities (metacognitive knowledge) as well as the cognitive processes that monitor and regulate their actions (metacognitive skills). The current study explored children's metacognitive skills of prediction, error detection, and evaluation (known as emergent awareness), and how these relate to their subjective metacognitive knowledge, in younger (M = 7.55, SD = 0.56) and older children (age M = 11.14, SD = 0.35). Methods: 135 participants (68 in the younger group), recruited from one Secondary School and two Primary Schools, were individually tested on measures of prediction, error detection and evaluation. They also completed a metacognitive knowledge questionnaire measuring their subjective awareness about their learning. Results: Independent t-tests found significant differences between younger and older participants' predictive, error detecting, and evaluative emergent awareness. The differences suggested older children were more accurate than younger children on tasks of prediction and error detection but not evaluation. Older participants also scored significantly lower on the subjective metacognitive knowledge questionnaire, suggesting younger participants were more confident in their skills and strategies for learning. Correlation analysis found no relationships between the three emergent awareness abilities and metacognitive knowledge at either age, and only a significant difference between the prediction and evaluation correlation coefficients between age groups, suggesting the relationship between these abilities becomes weaker as children get older. Conclusion: This study provides support for the hypotheses that emergent awareness skills become more accurate as children get older, but only for error detection and prediction tasks. Younger children are more confident in their learning and the strategies they use to learn. The results also suggest that all of these abilities are different from each other and may become more differentiated as children get older.
Supervisor: Limond, J. ; Moberly, N. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available