Singing to the self: Children's private speech, private song, and executive functioning
The current study explored private speech (PS), private singing, and humming in relation to executive function (EF). Fifty-eight children (4–8 years)were observed as they performed a selective attention task (SAT)and engaged in PS. In addition, their EF was measured with tests of cognitive flexibility (Dimensional Change Card Sorting Task), inhibitory control (Go-No Go, Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders), and planning (Tower of London). Parents reported on child EF issues. Almost all (95%)participants engaged in PS. Nearly one third of the sample used private song, and children who sang engaged in more overt PS on average than children who did not sing. There were children who used little to no PS, but children who used more overt task-relevant speech typically also had lower inhibitory control and more parent-reported EF issues. Private singing was unassociated with EF. Directions for future research on PS and song are discussed. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
Thibodeaux, J., Bock, A., Hutchison, L. A., & Winsler, A. (2019). Singing to the self: Children’s private speech, private song, and executive functioning. Cognitive Development, 50, 130-141. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2019.04.005