Speed, speed variability, and accuracy of information processing in 5 to 6-year-old children at risk of ADHD
Kalff, Ariane C × De Sonneville, Leo M J Hurks, Petra P M Hendriksen, Jos G M Kroes, Marielle Feron, Frans J M Steyaert, Jean van Zeben, Thea M C B Vles, Johan S H Jolles, Jelle #
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS. vol:11 issue:2 pages:173-83
The early assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) children has mainly focused on the behavioral, social, and pre-academic impairments. This study examined whether 5 to 6-year-old children at risk of ADHD are characterized by information-processing deficits. By screening 1317 children in Southern Limburg (the Netherlands) with the Child Behavior Checklist, 363 were selected and underwent a computerized examination. Eighteen months later, standardized psychiatric information was obtained. Thirty-three ADHD children were compared with 75 borderline ADHD children, 122 pathological controls, and 133 healthy controls. ADHD and borderline ADHD children were slower and more variable in their processing speed on all tasks than children with no or other pathology. These differences were most pronounced for the divided and focused attention tasks. Furthermore, one measure of a state regulation deficit discriminated between groups. With regard to accuracy, only the proportion of misses on a go-no-go task was higher in the ADHD group than in the other groups. Evidence was found that ADHD is better seen as a continuum rather than a discrete category. Already at a young age, children at risk of ADHD show specific information-processing deficits. Deficits in time perception and/or energetic state control in children with ADHD may possibly account for subnormal task performance.