, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 555-562

Continuous Performance Test Performance in a Normative Epidemiological Sample

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A 14-min continuous performance test (CPT) requiring a high rate of responding was administered to a probability-weighted random sample of 816 9–17-year-old children drawn from a population of 17,117 children in an ongoing epidemiological and longitudinal study in Western North Carolina. Systematic main effects of improved performance with older age were found in this age range for all variables, including reaction time (RT), RT standard error, errors of omission, errors of commission, and signal detection parameters (d' and β). Significant gender main effects included more impulsive errors, less variability, and faster RT by males, with no interactions between age and gender. There were no main effects of ethnicity or interactions of ethnicity with age and/or gender. Large main effects of interstimulus interval (ISI; 1, 2, or 4-s intervals) and time block were present for most CPT performance measures. The normative data from the CPT should provide a useful framework for interpreting similar data in future studies of child and adolescent psychopathology.