How are executive functioning and social skills related?
Research states that some EF skills (inhibition, shifting, emotional control) are related to the social skill, theory of mind. Theory of mind is the ability to understand that others have beliefs and thoughts other than our own. Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), have a hard time with this, which is why these individuals need training with perspective taking. Evidence shows that EF and social skills are related. Those with stronger EF skills often have stronger social skills and visa versa. Think about it, someone with poor EF skills may have poor impulse control, not be able to understand someone else’s perspective, can have extreme mood swings, and not be able to adjust their behavior to their current audience. This type of person can be difficult to be around and have a hard time initiating and maintaining friendships. Explicit social skills training helps these individuals learn the skills that do not come automatically to them.