Purpose: The current study explored whether pragmatic language use was associated with, and perhaps accounted for, the social skills problems children with varying levels of hyperactivity and inattention experience.

Method: A community sample of 54 children aged 9 to 11 years participated. Pragmatic language use, hyperactivity and inattention, and social skills were examined utilizing data collected from standardized parent-report rating scales.

Results: Pragmatic language use fully mediated the relation between hyperactivity and social skills problems, and partially mediated the relation between inattention and social skills problems. Further, pragmatic language use provided a unique contribution in the estimate of children’s social skills of 21.6% above and beyond the contribution of hyperactivity and 17.2% above and beyond the contribution of inattention.

Conclusions: Possible explanations for these mediation results are discussed in terms of children with ADHD and the problems they experience with social relations.

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