Assessment of Neurocognitive, Social, and Academic Functioning in Students with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
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Neurodevelopmental disorders has become a topic of interest primarily due to the increased prevalence as well as the educational and social impairments that often accompany these disorders. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders are at-risk for negative long-term outcomes such as difficulties at school, poor peer relationships, strained parent-child relationships, development of comorbid disorders (e.g., mood disorders), and deficits in executive functioning. Increased knowledge and research about these long-term outcomes have called for the creation of intervention and prevention programs; however, the efficacy and effectiveness of most of these programs have either not been established or are limited. Additionally, despite robust literature on the importance of executive functioning, little has been published about systematic interventions that may enable children with executive functioning deficits to develop in this domain of functioning. The present study examines potential relations between the development of executive function and exposure to a school-based, systematic intervention in students with neurodevelopmental disorders. Participants included students from a therapeutic day school who received systematic interventions related to self-regulation, executive function, social development, and academic competence. Measures of these four core areas were given to teachers and parents to complete regarding students’ emotional/behavioral adjustment and academic progress over the course of three academic years. Results indicated that measures of self-regulation account of significant variance related to the number of years in the program. Additionally, for some measures of social and executive functioning, the program level accounts for significant variance in the results. Additionally, measures of social development and social skills, indicated that across groups, students differed related to social skill deficits. Lastly, the regression analyses suggested that measures administered concurrently were better predictors of outcome measures in areas of emotional/behavioral functioning and academic achievement. Thus, there is some support for the use of systematic interventions for students with executive functioning deficits to impact long-term outcomes in emotional, behavioral, social, and academic areas.
Blakely, Alane O'Neal (2015). Assessment of Neurocognitive, Social, and Academic Functioning in Students with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from