Age-related variance in performance versus ratings of attention and impulse regulation in children: implications for the assessment of ADHD

Lyon, R. E., Rizeq, J. , Flora, D. B., Martinussen, R., Andrade, B. F. and Toplak, M. E. (2022) Age-related variance in performance versus ratings of attention and impulse regulation in children: implications for the assessment of ADHD. Brain Sciences, 12(8), 1033. (doi: 10.3390/brainsci12081033)

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Executive function task (EF) deficits are hypothesized to underlie difficulties with self-regulation. However, tasks assessing EF impairments have only been weakly correlated with rating scales that index self-regulation difficulties. A community sample of children and youth aged between 8 and 20 years old were assessed longitudinally. Growth curve analyses and correlations were conducted to better understand how these two types of measures relate to one another across development, as well as the impact of age-related variance. EF was assessed using the Stroop Task and Trail Making test and behavioral ratings of self-regulation were captured using the SWAN scale. EF task performance improved steeply until age 14–15, whereas the SWAN Scale showed small age-related decreases. EF task performance was moderately correlated with age among 8–13-year-olds and to a lesser extent among 14–20-year-olds. SWAN scores were not significantly related to age in either group. Correlations were similar in an ADHD “at-risk” subgroup. EF task performance and parent ratings of attention regulation have different developmental trajectories, which may partly explain why correlations are low to modest in these samples. In particular, age-related variance is an important methodological consideration with significant implications for the assessment of self-regulation in children and youth with ADHD.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC; Grant File Numbers 410-2006-2330 and 435-2013-1359).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rizeq, Dr Jala
Creator Roles:
Rizeq, J.Methodology, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Lyon, R. E., Rizeq, J., Flora, D. B., Martinussen, R., Andrade, B. F., and Toplak, M. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Brain Sciences
ISSN (Online):2076-3425
Published Online:04 August 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Brain Sciences 12(8): 1033
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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