Ilaria Gabbatore, Francesca M. Bosco, Leena Mäkinen, Eeva Leinonen, Soile Loukusa
March 15, 2021
Efficient communication requires the interplay of linguistic, cognitive and social skills, including the ability to make contextual inferences and to understand others’ intentions and emotions. The capacity to effectively use language in specific contexts (i.e., pragmatic ability) develops with age, and an assessment of this ability is important for understanding both typical and atypical development. The Pragma test was originally developed and validated on Finnish children to assess social-pragmatic comprehension. The present study utilizes a slightly adapted version of the Pragma test, translated into Italian, and presents the results of the test given to 110 typically developing Italian children (4–8 years of age). The Italian version of the Pragma test shows content and concurrent validity, interrater reliability, and internal consistency, and it proves to be sensitive in detecting an age-dependent pattern of performance, across pre-school and school age children, in the pragmatic parameters investigated. The present study has ramifications for clinical contexts, as data for typical pragmatic development enables identification of strengths and weaknesses in the pragmatic performance in clinical populations. Finally, the results indicate that the Pragma test is relevant to both Finnish and Italian cultural contexts, thus providing the opportunity to make cross-cultural comparisons.