The Diagnostic Utility of Executive Function Assessments in the Identification of ADHD in Children
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
© 2009 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 37–43, February 2010
How to Cite
Holmes, J., Gathercole, S. E., Place, M., Alloway, T. P., Elliott, J. G. and Hilton, K. A. (2010), The Diagnostic Utility of Executive Function Assessments in the Identification of ADHD in Children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 15: 37–43. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-3588.2009.00536.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- working memory;
- executive function;
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.