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

Joni Holmes, Susan E. Gathercole, Maurice Place, Tracy P. Alloway, Julian G. Elliott, Kerry A. Hilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: 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
Number of pages7
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010

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