Measurement of time processing ability and daily time management in children with disabilities

Gunnel Janeslätt, MS.c. O.T., Mats Granlund, Ph.D., Anders Kottorp, Ph.D., O.T.

Disability and Health JournalJanuary 2009 Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 15–19



Improvement is needed in methods for planning and evaluating interventions designed to facilitate daily time management for children with intellectual disability, Asperger syndrome, or other developmental disorders.


The aim of this study was to empirically investigate the hypothesized relation between children’s time processing ability (TPA), daily time management, and self-rated autonomy. Such a relationship between daily time management and TPA may support the idea that TPA is important for daily time management and that children with difficulties in TPA might benefit from intervention aimed at improving daily time management.


Participants were children aged 6 to 11 years with dysfunctions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, or physical or intellectual disabilities (N = 118). TPA was measured with the instrument KaTid. All data were transformed to interval measures using applications of Rasch models and then further analysed with correlation and regression analysis.


The results demonstrate a moderate significant relation between the parents’ ratings of daily time management and TPA of the children, and between the self-rating of autonomy and TPA. There was also a significant relation between self-ratings of autonomy and the parents’ rating of the children’s daily time management. Parents’ ratings of their children’s daily time management explain 25% of the variation in TPA, age of the children explains 22%, while the child’s self-rating of autonomy can explain 9% of the variation in TPA. The three variables together explain 38% of the variation in TPA. The results indicate the viability of the instrument for assessing TPA also in children with disabilities and that the ability measured by KaTid is relevant for daily time management.


TPA seems to be a factor for children’s daily time management that needs to be taken into consideration when planning and evaluating interventions designed to facilitate everyday functioning for children with cognitive impairments. The findings add to the increasing knowledge base about children with time processing difficulties and contribute to better methods aimed at improving these children’s daily time management. Further research is needed to examine if there are differences in TPA related to specific diagnosis or other child characteristics.