Award Date

5-1-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Second Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Third Committee Member

Murray Millar

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Keene

Number of Pages

60

Abstract

The Comprehensive Trail-Making Test (CTMT) is a commonly used assessment tool shown to be sensitive to brain dysfunction. Research has found cognitive abilities such as possessing speed, working memory, motor speed, sustained attention, and cognitive flexibility influence performance on the CTMT in non-clinical populations.

However, little research has been done to examine the neurocognitive abilities that influence performance on the CTMT in clinical populations. Research has demonstrated that the factor structure of the CTMT differs between clinical and non-clinical groups, which supports the need for further validation of the CTMT in clinical populations. This study examines the neurocognitive correlates that are thought to underlie performance on factor scores of the CTMT in children that with brain dysfunction. The sample for the current study consisted of 98 children, with various sustained and developmental and neurological disorders and a subgroup of children with a TBI (n = 71) selected from the overall sample. These children completed a neuropsychological battery, which included the CTMT and measures of possessing speed, working memory, motor speed, and sustained attention. The relationship between the neurocognitive correlates and the CTMT factor scores were examined using a regression analysis. It was hypothesized that the simple sequencing factor would be predicted by tests that assess Processing Speed,Sustained Attention and Motor Function, while the complex sequencing factor would be predicted by Processing speed and Working Memory. Results indicate that Processing Speed and Motor Function were significant predictors for both the Simple and Complex Sequencing factors. In addition to Processing Speed and Motor Function, Working Memory was a significant predictor for Complex Sequencing for the overall sample. In contrast, Sustained Attention, along with Processing Speed and Motor Function, significantly predicted Complex Sequencing for the TBI subgroup. These findings provide evidence for the use of the CTMT in clinical population, and clarify the underlying mechanisms measured by the CTMT.

Keywords

Executive Functions; Neuropsychology; Traumatic Brain Injury

Disciplines

Psychology

Language

English


Included in

Psychology Commons

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