Cognitive and behavioural predictors of adolescents’ communicative perspective-taking and social relationships.


Given the pivotal role that social interactions play for adolescents’ well-being, understanding the factors that influence communication is key. The present study examined relations between adolescents’ communicative perspective-taking, executive function skills, and ADHD traits and explored the role communicative perspective-taking plays in peer relations. Data was collected from a community sample of 15 to 19-years-olds (N = 46) in Waterloo, Canada. Two communicative perspective-taking tasks required participants to infer speakers’ communicative intentions. A battery of tasks assessed adolescents’ working memory and inhibitory control. Elevated ADHD traits were associated with weaker working memory, inhibitory control, and communicative perspective-taking. Working memory was the strongest predictor of communicative perspective-taking. Highlighting the importance of communicative perspective-taking for social interactions, adolescents with weaker skills in this area reported worse peer relations. Findings underscore the importance of communicative perspective-taking for adolescents’ social relations and have relevance for understanding the social difficulties faced by adolescents with elevated ADHD traits.