A Mental Age-Matched Comparison Study of Delay of Gratification in Children with Down Syndrome

Monica Cuskelly*, Airong Zhang, Alan Hayes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The performance of 25 children with Down syndrome on delay of gratification tasks was compared with that of a mental age-matched group of typically developing children. Delay tasks included both other- and self-imposed tasks. Children with Down syndrome were significantly less able to delay gratification than the comparison group on two of the three tasks. Receptive language was associated with delay on the self-imposed task for the typically developing group but not for children with Down syndrome. It is hypothesised that there may be a lag in the development of self-regulation that is greater than the lag between chronological and mental age for children with Down syndrome, with expressive language playing a role in this lag. The practice of using mental age as the method for matching groups of children with Down syndrome with typically developing children is called into question by the results of this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003

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