, Volume 113, Issue 12, pp 1943-1953
Date: 01 Jun 2006

Attentional functioning in children with ADHD – predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type and children with ADHD – combined type

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Summary.

Although particular importance has been attributed to attention deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there is no consensus as to the exact nature of inattention in ADHD or which components of attention are affected. The present study was based on a neuropsychological model of attention and assessed various components of attention in 23 children with ADHD/predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (ADHD-H), 32 children with ADHD/combined type (ADHD-C) and healthy children (N1 = 23 and N2 = 32). A computerized test battery consisting of reaction time tasks of low complexity was used for the assessment of attention (alertness task, vigilance task, divided attention task, visual scanning task, incompatibility task, test of crossmodal integration, flexibility task). In comparison to healthy participants, patient groups were impaired in measures of vigilance, divided attention, selective attention and flexibility but not in measures of alertness. Analysis of the test performance of patient groups revealed no differences between children with ADHD-H and children with ADHD-C. The results of the present study suggest that both children with ADHD-H and children with ADHD-C are seriously impaired in attentional functioning. Children with ADHD-H and children with ADHD-C produced comparable results in measures of attention.