Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 353–366 | Cite as

The Diagnostic Utility of Behavioral Checklists in Identifying Children with ADHD and Children with Working Memory Deficits

  • Tracy Packiam Alloway
  • Susan E. Gathercole
  • Joni Holmes
  • Maurice Place
  • Julian G. Elliott
  • Kerry Hilton
Original Article

Abstract

The present study investigated whether children with ADHD and those with working memory impairments have a common behavioral profile in the classroom. Three teacher checklists were used: the Conners’ teacher rating scale (CTRS), the behavior rating inventory of executive function (BRIEF), and the working memory rating scale. The Conners’ continuous performance test (CPT) was also included to determine whether there is a correspondence between performance on this widely used cognitive measure of attention deficits and teacher ratings of classroom behavior. All three behavior scales, but not the CPT, were able to successfully discriminate children with ADHD and those with working memory deficits from typically-developing children. Both the CTRS and the BRIEF discriminated a significant proportion of the children with ADHD from those with working memory deficits, indicating that while both groups exhibit behavioral problems in the classroom, they are characterized by differential attention profiles. The children with ADHD were identified on the basis of oppositional and hyperactive behavior, while those with working memory deficits were more inattentive.

Keywords

ADHD Attention Working memory Continuous performance test Behavior rating scales 

References

  1. 1.
    American Psychiatric (1994) Association diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edn. American Psychiatric Association, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Snyder SM, Hall JR, Cornwell SL, Quintana H (2006) Review of clinical validation of ADHD behavior rating scales. Psychol Rep 99:363–378. doi:10.2466/PR0.99.6.363-378 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Biederman J (2005) Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a selective overview. Biol Psychiatry 57:1215–1220. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.10.020 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Polanczyk G, de Lima MS, Horta BL, Biederman J, Rohde LA (2007) The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Am J Psychiatry 164:942–948. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.164.6.942 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Goodman R, Ford T, Meltzer H (2002) Mental health problems of children in the community: 18 month follow up. BMJ 22:1496–1497. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7352.1496 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McArdle P, O’Brien G, Kolvin I (1995) Hyperactivity: prevalence and relationship with conduct disorder. J Child Psy Psyc 36:279–303. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1995.tb01825.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gershon J (2002) A meta-analytic review of gender differences in ADHD. J Atten Disord 5:143–154. doi:10.1177/108705470200500302 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Szatmari P, Offord DR, Boyle MH (1989) Ontario child health study: prevalence of attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. J Child Psy Psyc 30:219–230. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1989.tb00236.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Angold A, Costello EJ, Erkanli A (1999) Comorbidity. J Child Psy Psyc 40:57–88. doi:10.1111/1469-7610.00424 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rasmussen P, Gillberg C (2001) Natural outcome of ADHD with developmental coordination disorder at age 22 years: a controlled, longitudinal, community-based study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 39:1424–1431. doi:10.1097/00004583-200011000-00017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chilcoat HD, Breslau N (1999) Pathways from ADHD to early drug use. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 38:1347–1354. doi:10.1097/00004583-199911000-00008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Barkley RA (1990) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a handbook for diagnosis and treatment. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sonuga-Barke EJS (2005) Causal models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: from common simple deficits to multiple developmental pathways. Biol Psychiatry 57:1231–1238. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.09.008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    van Mourik R, Oosterlaan J, Sergeant JA (2005) The Stroop revisited: a meta-analysis of interference control in AD/HD. J Child Psy Psyc 462:150–165. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00345.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Willcutt EG, Pennington BF, Olson RK, Chhabildas N, Hulslander J (2005) Neuropsychological analyses of comorbidity between reading disability and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: in search of the common deficit. Develpm Neuropsyc 271:35–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Baddeley AD (2000) The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory? Trends Cogn Sci 4:417–422. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01538-2 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Miyake A, Friedman NP, Emerson MJ, Witzki AH, Howerter A, Wager TD (2000) The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex “frontal lobe” tasks: a latent variable analysis. Cogn Psyc 41:49–100. doi:10.1006/cogp.1999.0734 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Holmes J, Alloway TP, Gathercole SE, Hilton K, Place M, Elliott J (2008) Working memory and executive function profiles of children with low working memory and children with ADHD. Child Adoles Ment Health (in press)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Martinussen R, Hayden J, Hogg-Johnson S, Tannock R (2005) A meta-analysis of working memory impairments in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 44:377–384. doi:10.1097/01.chi.0000153228.72591.73 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Roodenrys S (2006) Working memory function in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In: Alloway TP, Gathercole SE (eds) Working memory and neurodevelopmental disorders. Psychology Press, Hove and New York, pp 187–212Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Barkley RA (1997) Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychol Bull 121:65–94. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.121.1.65 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sullivan JR, Riccio CA (2007) Diagnostic group differences in parent and teacher ratings on the BRIEF and Conners’ scales. J Atten Disord 11:398–406. doi:10.1177/1087054707299399 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Conners K (2005) Conners teacher rating scale-revised-short. Multi-Health Systems Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gioia GA, Isquith PK, Guy SC, Kenworthy L (2000) Behavior rating inventory of executive function. Psychological Assessment Resources Inc, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Naglieri JA, Goldstein S, Delauder BY, Schwebach A (2005) Relationships between the WISC-III and the cognitive assessment system with Conners’ rating scales and continuous performance tests. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 203:385–401. doi:10.1016/j.acn.2004.09.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Alloway TP, Gathercole SE, Kirkwood HJ (2008) Working memory rating scale. Pearson Assessment, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schachar R, Sandberg S, Rutter M (1996) Agreement between teacher ratings and observations of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and defiance. J Abn Psych 142:331–345Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Stevens J, Quittner AL, Abikoff H (1998) Factors influencing elementary school teachers’ ratings of ADHD and ODD behaviors. J Clin Child Psychol 27:406–414. doi:10.1207/s15374424jccp2704_4 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Conners K (2004) Continuous performance test. Multi-Health Systems Inc, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Riccio CA, Reynolds CR, Lowe P, Moore JJ (2002) The continuous perfonnance test: a window on the neural substrates for attention? Arch Clin Neuropsychol 173:235–272. doi:10.1016/S0887-6177(01)00111-1 Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Cowan N, Alloway TP (2009) The development of working memory. In: Cowan N (ed) Development of memory in infancy and childhood, 2nd edn. Psychology Press, Hove (in press)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Alloway TP, Gathercole SE, Kirkwood HJ, Elliott JE (2009a) The cognitive and behavioural characteristics of children with low working memory. Child Dev (in press)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Alloway TP, Gathercole SE, Kirkwood HJ, Elliott JE (2008) Evaluating the validity of the automated working memory assessment. Educational Psyc 7:725–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gathercole SE, Alloway TP, Kirkwood HJ, Elliott JE, Holmes J, Hilton K (2008) Attentional and executive function behaviors in children with poor working memory. Learn Individ Differ 18:214–223. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2007.10.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Skuse D, Warrington R, Bishop DVM, Chowdury U, Mandy W, Place M (2004) The developmental, diagnostic and dimensional interview 3di: a novel computerized assessment for autistic spectrum disorders. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 43:548–558. doi:10.1097/00004583-200405000-00008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Alloway TP (2007) Automated working memory assessment. Pearson Assessment, LondonGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Alloway TP, Gathercole SE, Kirkwood HJ, Elliott JE (2009b) Reliability and validity of the working memory rating scale. Learn Individ Differ (in press)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Corkum PV, Siegel LS (1993) Is the continuous performances task a valuable research tool for use with children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder. J Child Psy Psyc 34:1217–1239. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1993.tb01784.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Halperin JM, Newcorn JH, Sharma V, Healey JM, Wolf LE, Pascualvaca DM (1990) Inattentive and nonattentive ADHD children - do they constitute a unitary group. J Abn Psych 18:437–449. doi:10.1007/BF00917645 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Koelega HS (1995) Is the continuous performance task useful in research with ADHD children? Comments on a review. J Child Psy Psyc 36:1477–1485. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1995.tb01677.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    McGee R, Brodeur D, Symons D, Andrade B, Fahie C (2004) Time perception: does it distinguish ADHD and RD children in a clinical sample? J Abn Psych 32:481–490. doi:10.1023/B:JACP.0000037778.61929.1b CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Gaub M, Carlson CL (1997) Gender differences in ADHD: a meta-analysis and critical review. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 36:1036–1045. doi:10.1097/00004583-199708000-00011 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Rucklidge J (2008) Gender differences in ADHD: implications for psychosocial treatments. Expert Rev Neurother 8:643–655. doi:10.1586/14737175.8.4.643 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Nussbaum NL, Grant ML, Roman MJ, Poole JH, Bigler ED (1990) Attention deficit disorder and the mediating effect of age on academic and behavioural variables. J Dev Behav Pediatr 11:22–26. doi:10.1097/00004703-199002000-00005 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Merrell C, Tymms P (2005) Rasch analysis of inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive behavior in young children and the link with academic achievement. J Appl Meas 6:1–18PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Gathercole SE, Alloway TP (2008) Working memory and learning: a practical guide. Sage Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Gathercole SE, Lamont E, Alloway TP (2006) Working memory in the classroom. In: Pickering S (ed) Working memory and education. Elsevier Press, London, pp 219–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Packiam Alloway
    • 1
  • Susan E. Gathercole
    • 3
  • Joni Holmes
    • 3
  • Maurice Place
    • 4
  • Julian G. Elliott
    • 2
  • Kerry Hilton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of DurhamDurhamUK
  3. 3.York UniversityYorkUK
  4. 4.Hartlepool Child & Adolescent Mental Health ServiceNorthumbria UniversityNew castleUK

Personalised recommendations