, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 491-503

The Relation Between Sluggish Cognitive Tempo and DSM-IV ADHD

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To test the relation between sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) and DSM-IV ADHD symptoms, parent and teacher ratings of the 18 DSM-IV ADHD items and five potential SCT items were obtained in a community sample of 8–18 year-old twins that was overselected for ADHD and learning disabilities (n = 296). Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a three-factor model provided the best fit to the data for both parent and teacher ratings. DSM-IV inattention and hyperactivity–impulsivity symptoms loaded on two factors consistent with the DSM-IV model, and five SCT symptoms loaded primarily on a third factor. The SCT and inattention factors were highly correlated, whereas SCT and hyperactivity–impulsivity were weakly related. Both raters indicated that children meeting symptom criteria for the combined and inattentive subtypes exhibited significantly more SCT symptoms than those meeting symptom criteria for hyperactive–impulsive type and the comparison group without ADHD. Children meeting symptom criteria for the inattentive type exhibited significantly more SCT symptoms than those meeting criteria for the combined type, based on teacher ratings. These results suggest that SCT is an internally consistent construct that is significantly associated with DSM-IV inattention.