Editorial: Exploring links between social communication and mental health
Sprache des Titels:
Social communication (SC) implies the selection of appropriate non-verbal and verbal
messages and their appropriate interpretation within a social context. SC serves a rich variety
of communicative functions of varying degrees of complexity (such as attracting somebody?s
attention, commenting, asking for information, sharing information or emotions and humor,
arguing or negotiating). Essentially, SC includes the mastering of reciprocity and following the
rules of human conversation (including turn-taking skills, topic adherence or communicative
repair strategies). SC difficulties are highly heterogeneous and encompass clinical as well
as non-clinical groups. Impairments of SC can be associated with mental, behavioral and
neurodevelopmental disorders, and are a core symptom of autism spectrum disorders and the
recently introduced ICD-11 category of ?developmental language disorder with impairment
of mainly pragmatic language.? In addition, SC difficulties can be associated with non-clinical
populations such as children of low socio-economic background or with other experiences of
deprivation. Finally, in case of insignificant impact on everyday functioning, SC difficulties can
be regarded as an expression of human neurodiversity.
This Research Topic aimed to increase our understanding of SC skills in childhood and
youth and the correlations with current or subsequent mental health problems. The collection of
articles includes a systematic review by our working group (Dall et al.) and a number of empirical
articles on the association between SC skills and child mental health (Fellinger et al.; Rimehaug
and Kårstad) and the wellbeing of the family environment (Laister et al.). The relationships
between early childhood experiences and child SC development are explored by a conceptual
paper by Jethava et al. and a population-based empirical study by Law et al.. Finally, Weber et al.
offer an instrument to measure SC skills in an adult population with special needs.