Very low birth weight and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
van der Meere, Jaap × Borger, Norbert A Potgieter, Stephanus Theron Pirila, Silja De Cock, Paul #
Swets & Zeitlinger
Neuropsychology, Development and Cognition C, Child Neuropsychology vol:15 issue:6 pages:605-618
It is well recognized that reaction time performance of term-born children with a normal birth weight (NBW > 2500 g) who fulfill the DSM-IV criteria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the primary school age is sensitive for the presentation rate of stimuli. They have been found to perform more poorly in conditions of relatively slow event rates as compared with fast event rates. The purpose of the current study was to explore whether reaction time performance of children with very low birth weight (VLBW < 1500 g) with or without ADHD showed the same sensitivity for the factor presentation rate of stimuli compared to children with a normal birth weight plus ADHD. To this end, reaction time performance of four groups of children was compared on a Go/No-Go test with a fast presentation rate of 1 second and a slow presentation rate of 6 seconds. Groups were: children with VLBW plus ADHD, children with VLBW only, children born full term with normal birth weight (NBW > 2500 g) plus ADHD, and children born full term without ADHD (the control group). Findings indicated that, compared to the non-ADHD groups, the groups with ADHD (NBW and VLBW) showed a more dramatic decline in their reaction time performance in the slow condition: a state regulation deficit. In addition, both groups showed a response inhibition deficit. No difference was found in reaction time performance between the groups of children with VLBW only and the control group.