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Executive functions in children with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder

Saydam Bahçivan, Reyhan
Aim of the present study was to evaluate executive functions (EF) such as inhibition, planning, working memory, set-shifting in children with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) via comparison of three ADHD subtype groups (ADHD-I, ADHD-C and ADHD-Comorbid) and a normal control group. Participants consist of 147 children. Total of 111 children were assigned into the ADHD groups of the study. Thirty seven children (5 girl and 32 boys) were assigned into the ADHD-Inattentive group, thirty seven children (6 girls and 31 boys) were assigned into the ADHD-Combined group; and thirty seven children (4 girls and 33 boys) were classified as ADHD-Comorbide group (ADHD-C with Oppositional Defiant Disorder consists of 4 girls and 31 boys, and/or Conduct Disorders consists of 2 boys). Thirty six children (6 girls and 30 boys; age range: 7- 12) were assigned as control group by matching with the ADHD groups according to the WISC-R Full Scale IQ score, sex and age. Conner’s Parental and Teacher Rating Scales, Child Behavior Check List and Wechsler Intelligence Scale Revised, Tower of London Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop Color Word Test, Cancellation Task, Trail Making Test, California Verbal List Test for Children, Verbal Fluency Test, Continuous Performance Test, Go-No-Go Task and Bender-Gestalt Test were used for the assessment of children. The data were analyzed by one-way within subject ANOVA for all dependent variables measured by the assessment tools. Additionally discriminant function analyses were conducted to determine the variables that differentiate the three ADHD groups and control group. Outcome of study indicated that subjects in ADHD-Comorbid group had more severe Executive Function (EF) deficits than subjects in ADHD-I and ADHD-C group. The findings were discussed in the light of the literature.