Relationship of Executive Functioning and Auditory Attention in Typically Developing Children
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Speech-language pathologists and audiologists agree that executive functioning is vital to academic success. Executive functioning is the higher cognitive processing that is needed to successfully function in daily life. However, the relationship of auditory attention and executive function has not been studied in typically developing children. The current research was aimed at determining if a relationship exists between auditory attention and executive functioning in typically developing children. This study focused on auditory attention instead of other areas of auditory processing, as numerous studies have asserted that there is a likely link between auditory processing and executive attention deficits (e.g., Ferguson et al., 2011; Magimairaj, Nagaraj, & Benafield, 2018). The purpose of the current study was to determine if a relationship exists between auditory attention and executive functioning in school-aged, typically developing children. The following question was addressed: what is the relationship between executive functioning skills and auditory processing skills, specifically auditory attention? Based on assertions from previous research, the investigators expected to observe a statistically and descriptively significant relationship between auditory attention and various aspects of executive functioning.Subjects ranged from 8 years and 0 months to 11 years and 0 months. All subjects were administered the Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome for children (BADS-C) and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (ACPT). Additionally, the Dysexecutive Questionnaire for children (DEX-C) was administered to the parents. The study sought to demonstrate a relationship between auditory attention and executive functioning, using a nonexperimental single-group design. To analyze this relationship, the researchers descriptively compared the BADS-C, DEX-C, and ACPT, in addition to using statistical measures (e.g., correlations) to examine the test results of the BADS-C and the ACPT. Correlational analysis found the Six Part Test of the BADS-C and impulsivity measure of the ACPT were approaching a moderate negative statistically significant relationship, indicating a likely relationship between the executive functioning components of the Six Part Test (i.e., scheduling, planning, flexibility, and performance monitoring) and impulsivity. Additionally, the Six Part Test of the BADS-C and the total error score of the ACPT were approaching a moderate negative statistically significant relationship, indicating a likely relationship between the same executive functioning components of the Six Part Test and auditory attention. Descriptive analysis also indicates a relationship may exist. Overall, the study indicates a relationship may exist between executive functioning and auditory attention. However, further studies should address the limitations by examining a wider range of age groups, gender variability, language abilities, and geographical location. Additionally, further research should include an increased sample size. Finally, researchers recommend looking at this relationship in children with disorders such as CAPD to provide the highest quality of care.