Neuropsychological performance and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder subtypes and symptom dimensions

Molly A. Nikolas, Joel T. Nigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Characterization of clinical heterogeneity in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains controversial. Neuropsychological and cognitive studies provide one type of validation data, but too often have considered only a narrow range of functional domains. Method: The current study examined ADHD subtype and presentation differences across a broad range of neurocognitive domains in a large clinically characterized, community-recruited sample of 498 youth (213 control, 107 ADHDprimarily inattentive [ADHD-PI], 137 ADHD-combined [ADHD-C]), ages 6-17 years. Domains assessed included inhibition, working memory, arousal, processing speed, response variability, and temporal information processing. Results: Youth with ADHD-C performed worse than youth with ADHD-PI in all domains, consistent with a severity model. Performance among a subgroup with a "restrictive inattentive" presentation indicated potential deficits in processing speed relative to other ADHD-PI youth, but no other effects. When all measures were included in the same model, cognitive control (executive functions, working memory, and memory span), arousal, and response variability each provided uniquely incremental statistical prediction of specific symptom dimensions and of subtype/ presentation, but temporal information processing and processing speed did not. Conclusion: Results suggest the potential to consolidate multiple neurocognitive theories of ADHD, and that such consolidation will apply across putative clinical subtypes or presentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-120
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Neuropsychological functioning
  • Subtypes
  • Symptom dimensions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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