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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 February;64(1):7-14

language: English

Evaluation of creative thinking in children with idiopathic epilepsy (absence epilepsy)

Di Filippo T., Parisi L., Roccella M.

Chair of Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


AIM:Creativity represents the silent character of human behaviour. In children with epilepsy, cognitive performance of has mainly been investigated under the assumption that the disorder represents a risk factor for the development of intellectual function. In subjects with different forms of epilepsy, neuropsychologic disorders have been detected even when cognitive-global functioning is unimpaired. The cognitive functions of subjects with epilepsy have been widely studied, but their creativity has been never evaluated to date. The aim of this study was to describe the development of creative thinking in a group of children with absence epilepsy.
METHODS: The test battery included: the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-revised (WISC-R) and the Goodenough Human Figure Drawing Test.
RESULTS:Statistical analysis (Mann-Whitney test) showed a statistically significant difference (P <0.05) in test scores between two groups of subjects (children with epilesy vs control group), with higher scores for figure originality, figure fluidity and figure elaboration in the control group. There was a significant correlation (Spearman’s rho) between verbal IQ and verbal fluidity and verbal flexibility subscale scores and between performance IQ and figure elaboration, between total IQ and verbal fluidity and verbal flexibility subscales (P <0.05; r >0.30).
CONCLUSION: Low scores on the figure originality subscales seem to confirm the hypothesis that adverse psychodynamic and relational factors impoverish autonomy, flexibility and manipulator interests. The communication channels between subjects with epilepsy and their family members were affected by the disorder, as were the type of emotional dynamics and affective flux.

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