The term “metacognition” describes thinking about a cognitive phenomenon or, more simply put, thinking about thinking . Metacognition involves using knowledge about one’s cognitive processes to change behavior, including monitoring and controlling cognition. Metacognition is vital for learning and is often more difficult for children with neurodevelopmental concerns (e.g. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [FASD], Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD]), possibly due to underlying deficits in attention and executive functioning (EF). The present study evaluated a 6- to 8-week cognitive intervention aimed at improving attention and EF and children’s metacognitive abilities. Participants included a mixed sample of 50 children ages 6-12 years presenting with attention and/or EF deficits. Children within the active intervention group completed a game-based attention/EF intervention called (CQ), which combines process-specific and compensatory approaches to remediate attention and EF. Educational Assistants (EAs) supported children during gameplay by teaching explicit metacognitive strategies. Pre/post assessments included measures of attention and working memory (WM), metacognitive awareness (child, parent, and EA questionnaires), and metacognitive regulation (metacognitive monitoring and control). Results indicated post-intervention gains in WM, metacognitive awareness, and metacognitive regulation (self-monitoring and metacognitive control). These results provide preliminary support for CQ as potentially beneficial in improving aspects of EF and metacognition in children.

References

PubMed