The diagnostic utility of executive function assessments in the identification of ADHD in children

Joni Holmes, Susan Gathercole, Maurice Place, Tracy Alloway, Julian Elliott, Kerry Hilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Deficits in executive functions have been widely reported to characterise individuals with ADHD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of a range of executive function measures for identifying children with ADHD. Method: Eighty-three children with ADHD and 50 normally-developing children without ADHD were assessed on measures of inhibition, set-shifting, planning, problem-solving, response inhibition, sustained attention and working memory. Measures of sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and diagnostic odds ratios were calculated. Results: Executive function tasks effectively discriminated between children with and without ADHD. Measures of response inhibition and working memory contributed the most to the discriminant function. Conclusions: Cognitive measures of executive function can be used to help identify children with ADHD and could be useful as additional diagnostic tools for clinical practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

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