Developmental Underpinnings of the Association of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Its Subtypes to Neuropsychological and Academic Weaknesses

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Abstract

Caron and Rutter (1) and Pennington (2) recently published excellent conceptual and methodological reviews and analyses of comorbidity in child psychopathology, and a special issue of Developmental Neuropsychology (3) reviewed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-learning disabilities (LD) comorbidity in particular. None of these reviews, however, focused on the association of dimensions of ADHD and cognitive development, which are included in this chapter. Moreover, relatively little empirical data exist from early development. It is very likely that language-related impairments and extreme temperament traits contribute to the emergence of developmental problems and/or the accumulation of difficulties. To understand the nature of the association between attention disorders and LD we introduce results in this chapter from our studies from infants and kindergarten-age and school-age children. The dimensions of ADHD, inattention and hyperactivity, are evaluated separately in this chapter. In addition, neuropsychological correlates and the developmental history of ADHD are reviewed to explore possible associations to the acquisition of academic achievements.