Language and Self-Other Differentiation in Childhood Epilepsy: A Preliminary Report

  • Katharine M. Bailey
  • Nancie Im-BolterEmail author
Original Paper



Parent and teacher reports indicate that children with epilepsy exhibit social cognitive problems, but little is known about their performance on behavioural tasks that measure social cognition. The present study builds on recent research that suggests that children with epilepsy have impaired ability to differentiate between the self and other perspective. Children with epilepsy also are more likely to have impaired language, which has an important association with self-other differentiation.


We examined language and self-other differentiation during social problem solving in school-aged children with epilepsy (n= 6; mean age = 9.81 years), with language problems (n= 14; mean age = 9.84 years), and with typical development (n= 15; mean age = 9.93 years).


The children with epilepsy in this study presented with deficits in language and self-other differentiation during social problem solving.


Language problems in children with epilepsy may compromise their ability to resolve social problems in an age-appropriate manner. The findings highlight the need for research investigating language and self-other differentiation during social problem solving in children with epilepsy.


Social problem solving Epilepsy Language Social cognition Self-other differentiation 



This research was presented at the 2015 meeting of the Jean Piaget Society in Toronto and the 2015 biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Philadelphia. We thank the children and parents who participated in this project.

Author Contributions

K.B. Collaborated in the design and executed the study, analyzed data, and drafted and edited the manuscript. N.I-B. Collaborated in the design of the study, and the writing and editing of the manuscript.


This research was supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) standard research grant (410-2009-0776) to N. Im-Bolter and a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship to K. Bailey.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada

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