Differential patterns of Executive Function in Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder According to Gender and Subtype

Stephen Houghton, Graham Douglas, J. West, K. Whiting, M. Wall, S. Langsford, L. Powell, A. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present investigation examined differential patterns in executive functions of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; no diagnosed comorbid disorders) according to subtype and gender, and identified instrumentation sensitive to executive function in children aged 6 to 12 years with ADHD. Data were obtained from 94 children diagnosed with ADHD (predominantly inattentive, n = 32, ADHD combined, n = 62), and from 28 controls. Participants with ADHD, who were unmedicated at the time of testing, were administered five tests of executive function (the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Stroop Color-Word Test, the Matching Familiar Figures Test, the Trail Making Test, and the Tower of London). A two-way multivariate analysis of covariance with age as the covariate and subtype and gender as the independent variables was conducted on all of the tests administered. While children with ADHD predominantly inattentive and those with ADHD combined differed from controls, it was only the latter subtype that differed significantly in perseveration and response inhibition. The absence of diagnosed comorbidity in the children with ADHD at the time of test administration demonstrates that the impairments in executive function are clearly located in ADHD, particularly in the ADHD combined subtype, thus providing support for Barkley's proposed unifying theory of ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-805
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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