Social skills and executive function among youth with sickle cell disease: A preliminary investigation

Academic Article


  • Objectives To explore the relationship between executive function (EF) and social skills in youth with sickle cell disease (SCD). Methods 20 youth with SCD completed objective tests of EF (Tasks of Executive Control; Animal Sorting subtest from the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment-Second Edition), an IQ screener, and paper-and-pencil measures of social skills (Social Skills Improvement System [SSIS]). Primary caregivers completed paper-and-pencil measures of EF (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and social skills (SSIS).Results EF scores from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function related to parent- and child-reported social skills such that EF deficits correlated with poorer overall and domain-specific social skills. Similarly, EF scores from the Animal Sorting test related to child-reported social skills. Worse parent-reported EF predicted worse parent-reported social skills above the variance accounted for by IQ. Conclusions EF is related to social skills and may be necessary for successful social interaction among youth with SCD. These results provide rationale and guidance for future larger-scale investigations of EF and social skills among children with SCD. © 2014 The Author.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hensler M; Wolfe K; Lebensburger J; Nieman J; Barnes M; Nolan W; King A; Madan-Swain A
  • Start Page

  • 493
  • End Page

  • 500
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 5