Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Daniel N. Allen

Second Committee Member

Chris Heavey

Third Committee Member

Brad Donohue

Fourth Committee Member

Lewis Etcoff

Fifth Committee Member

Tara Raines

Number of Pages

38

Abstract

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD), including Reading Disorder (RD), Disorder of Written Expression (DWE), and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) all co-occur at high rates. Previous research indicates increased neurocognitive impairment in ADHD with the presence of comorbid diagnoses. However, few direct comparisons between intellectual profiles of children with one or multiple ADHD and LD diagnoses are available, specifically for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale Fourth Edition (WISC-IV), despite its frequent and historical use with this population. Profile analysis may contribute insights into spared and impaired abilities. Therefore, the present study addressed these matters by comparing WISC-IV profiles of children with ADHD and comorbid LD. Participants included 301 children with ADHD-Inattentive (n=101), ADHD-Combined (n=79), ADHD-DCD (n=42), and ADHD-RD and/or Disorder of Written Expression (ADHD-RD-DWE) (n=79). Children were 10.2 years old, 69% male, with a Full Scale IQ of 101.5. Diagnoses of ADHD and learning disorders were established through comprehensive evaluations including behavioral symptom ratings, interviews with parents, and neuropsychological measures. Results indicated a significant group by Index score interaction, which was primarily caused by the ADHD-RD-DWE group performing significantly worse (pPRI>Working Memory>Processing Speed). Differences in ADHD presentations were also found, with the ADHD-Inattentive group exhibiting slower processing speed than the ADHD-Combined group. Findings indicate differences in intellectual profiles of children with ADHD and LD as well as ADHD presentations. The combination of LD and ADHD results in unique intellectual profiles, indicating clinical and theoretical utility in distinguishing between these disorders. Further investigation is needed to determine the extent to which these profiles are predictive of academic, social, and behavioral outcomes.

Keywords

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Cognition disorders; Intelligence tests; Learning disabilities; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

Disciplines

Psychology

Language

English


Included in

Psychology Commons

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