Advertisement

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 497–507 | Cite as

Competing Core Processes in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Do Working Memory Deficiencies Underlie Behavioral Inhibition Deficits?

  • R. Matt Alderson
  • Mark D. Rapport
  • Kristen L. Hudec
  • Dustin E. Sarver
  • Michael J. Kofler
Article

Abstract

The current study examined competing predictions of the working memory and behavioral inhibition models of ADHD. Behavioral inhibition was measured using a conventional stop-signal task, and central executive, phonological, and visuospatial working memory components (Baddeley 2007) were assessed in 14 children with ADHD and 13 typically developing (TD) children. Bootstrapped mediation analyses revealed that the visuospatial working memory system and central executive both mediated the relationship between group membership (ADHD, TD) and stop-signal task performance. Conversely, stop-signal task performance mediated the relationship between group membership and central executive processes, but was unable to account for the phonological and visuospatial storage/rehearsal deficits consistently found in children with ADHD. Comparison of effect size estimates for both models suggested that working memory deficits may underlie impaired stop-signal task performance in children with ADHD. The current findings therefore challenge existing models of ADHD that describe behavioral inhibition as a core deficit of the disorder.

Keywords

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD Behavioral inhibition Stop-signal task Working memory 

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles. Burlington: University of Vermont Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.Google Scholar
  2. Ackerman, P. L., Beier, M. E., & Boyle, M. O. (2005). Working memory and intelligence: the same or different constructs? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 30–60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Alderson, R. M., Rapport, M. D., & Kofler, M. J. (2007). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and behavioral inhibition: a meta-analytic review of the stop-signal paradigm. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 35, 745–758.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Alderson, R. M., Rapport, M. D., Sarver, D. E., & Kofler, M. J. (2008). ADHD and behavioral inhibition: a re-examination of the stop-signal task. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 989–998.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., & Pickering, S. J. (2006). Verbal and visual spatial short-term and working memory in children: are they separable? Child Development, 77, 1698–1716.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Awh, E., & Jonides, J. (2001). Overlapping mechanisms of attention and working memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5, 119–126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Baddeley, A. (2007). Working memory, thought, and action. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Barkley, R. A. (1997). Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 65–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Barkley, R. A. (2006). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: handbook for diagnosis and treatment (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Brocki, K. C., Randall, K. D., Bohlin, G., & Kerns, K. A. (2008). Working memory in school-aged children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder combined type: are deficits modality specific and are they independent of impaired inhibitory control? Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 30, 749–759.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Castellanos, F. X., & Tannock, R. (2002). Neuroscience of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the search for endophenotypes. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3, 617–628.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, L., Blackwell, A. D., Aron, A. R., Turner, D. C., Dowson, J., Robbins, T. W., et al. (2007). Association between response inhibition and working memory in adult ADHD: a link to right frontal cortex pathology? Biological Psychiatry, 61, 1395–1401.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Colom, R., Abad, F., Rebollo, I., & Shih, P. C. (2005). Memory span and general intelligence: a latent variable approach. Intelligence, 32, 623–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Conway, A. R. A., Kane, M. J., Bunting, M. F., Hambrick, D. Z., Wilhelm, O., & Engle, R. W. (2005). Working memory span tasks: a methodological review and user’s guide. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 769–786.Google Scholar
  16. Crosbie, J., Pérusse, D., Barr, C. L., & Schachar, R. J. (2008). Validating psychiatric endophenotypes: inhibitory control and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 32, 40–55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Cumming, G., & Finch, S. (2005). Inference by eye: confidence intervals and how to read pictures of data. American Psychologist, 60(2), 170–180.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Efron, B., & Tibshirani, R. J. (1993). An introduction to the bootstrap. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  19. Engle, R. W., Kane, M. J., & Tuholski, S. W. (1999). Individual differences in working memory capacity and what they tell us about controlled attention, general fluid intelligence, and functions of the prefrontal cortex. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 102–134). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fassbender, C., & Schweitzer, J. B. (2006). Is there evidence for neural compensation in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? A review of the functional neuroimaging literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 445–465.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Gadow, K. D., Sprafkin, J., & Salisbury, H. (2004). Further validity evidence for the teacher version of the Child Symptom Inventory-4. School Psychology Quarterly, 19, 50–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Garavan, H. (1998). Serial attention within working memory. Memory & Cognition, 26, 263–276.Google Scholar
  23. Hollingshead, A. B. (1975). Four-factor index of social status. Unpublished manuscript. Department of Sociology, Yale University.Google Scholar
  24. Huang-Pollock, C. L., Carr, T. H., & Nigg, J. T. (2002). Development of selective attention: perceptual load influences early versus late attentional selection in children and adults. Developmental Psychology, 38, 363–375.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Huizenga, H. M., van Bers, B., Plat, J., van den Wildenberg, W., & van der Molen, M. W. (2009). Task complexity enhances response inhibition deficits in childhood and adolescent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a meta-regression analysis. Biological Psychiatry, 65, 39–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Kaufman, J., Birmaher, B., Brent, D., Rao, U., Flynn, C., Moreci, P., et al. (1997). Schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school-age children-present and lifetime version (K-SADS-PL): initial reliability and validity data. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 980–988.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Klingberg, T., Forssberg, H., & Westerberg, H. (2002). Training of working memory in children with ADHD. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 24, 781–791.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Klorman, R., Hazel-Fernandez, L. A., Shaywitz, S. E., Fletcher, J. M., Marchione, K. E., Holahan, J. M., et al. (1999). Executive functioning deficits in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are independent of oppositional defiant or reading disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 1148–1155.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kofler, M. J., Rapport, M. D., Bolden, J., Sarver, D. E., & Raiker, J. S. (2009). ADHD and working memory: The impact of central executive deficits and overwhelming storage/rehearsal capacity on observed inattentive behavior Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s10802-009-9357-6.
  30. Lee, D., Riccio, C. A., & Hynd, G. W. (2004). The role of executive functions in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: testing predictions from two models. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 19, 167–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lijffijt, M., Kenemans, L., Verbaten, M. N., & van Engeland, H. (2005). A meta-analytic review of stopping performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: deficient inhibitory motor control? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114, 216–222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Logan, G. D., Cowan, W. B., & Davis, K. A. (1984). On the ability to inhibit simple and choice reaction time responses: a model and a method. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 10, 276–291.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Martinussen, R., & Tannock, R. (2006). Working memory impairments in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with and without comorbid language learning disorders. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 28, 1073–1094.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Martinussen, R., Hayden, J., Hogg-Johnson, S., & Tannock, R. (2005). A meta-analysis of working memory impairments in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 377–384.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Marzocchi, G. M., Oosterlaan, J., Zuddas, A., Cavolina, P., Geurts, H., Redigolo, D., et al. (2008). Contrasting deficits on executive functions between ADHD and reading disabled children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 543–552.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Mullane, J. C., & Corkum, P. V. (2007). The relationship between working memory, inhibition, and performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test in children with and without ADHD. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 25, 211–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oberauer, K. (2003). Selective attention to elements in working memory. Experimental Psychology, 50, 257–269.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Pelham, W. E., Fabiano, G. A., & Massetti, G. M. (2005). Evidence-based assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 449–476.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2004). SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 36, 717–731.Google Scholar
  40. Rapport, M. D., Chung, K., Shore, G., & Isaacs, P. (2001). A conceptual model of child psychopathology: implications for understanding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and treatment efficacy. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30, 48–58.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Rapport, M. D., Alderson, R. M., Kofler, M. J., Sarver, D. E., Bolden, J., & Sims, V. (2008a). Working memory deficit in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): the contribution of the central executive and subsystem processes. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 825–837.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Rapport, M. D., Kofler, M. J., Alderson, R. M., & Raiker, J. S. (2008b). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In M. Hersen & D. Reitman (Eds.), Handbook of psychological assessment, case conceptualization and treatment (Vol. 2): Children and adolescents (pp. 349–404). NJ: Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  43. Rapport, M. D., Bolden, J., Kofler, M. J., Sarver, D. E., Raiker, J. S., & Alderson, R. M. (2009). Hyperactivity in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a ubiquitous core symptom or manifestation of working memory deficits? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 521–534.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Schachar, R., Mota, V., Logan, G., Tannock, R., & Klim, P. (2000). Confirmation of an inhibitory control deficit in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 28, 227–235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: new procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7, 422–445.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Smith, E. E., Jonides, J., & Koeppe, R. A. (1996). Dissociating verbal and spatial working memory using PET. Cerebral Cortex, 6, 11–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (2002). Psychological homogeneity in AD/HD—A dual pathway model of behaviour and cognition. Behavioural Brain Research, 130, 29–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Sonuga-Barke, E. J. S., Dalen, L., Daley, D., & Remington, B. (2002). Are planning, working memory, and inhibition associated with individual differences in preschool ADHD symptoms? Developmental Neuropsychology, 21, 255–272.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. SuperLab Pro (Version 2) [Computer program]. (2002). San Pedro, CA. (http://www.cedrus.com): Cedrus Corporation.
  50. Swanson, L., & Kim, K. (2007). Working memory, short-term memory, and naming speed as predictors of children’s mathematical performance. Intelligence, 35, 151–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wechsler, D. (1991). Wechsler intelligence scale for children (3rd ed.). San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  52. Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler intelligence scale for children (4th ed.). San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  53. Wilens, T. E., Biederman, J., Brown, S., Tanquay, S., Monuteaux, M. C., Blake, C., et al. (2002). Psychiatric comorbidity and functioning in clinically referred preschool children and school-age youths with ADHD. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 262–268.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Willcutt, E. G., Doyle, A. E., Nigg, J. T., Faraone, S. V., & Pennington, B. F. (2005). Validity of the executive function theory of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analytic review. Biological Psychiatry, 57, 1336–1346.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Matt Alderson
    • 1
  • Mark D. Rapport
    • 2
  • Kristen L. Hudec
    • 1
  • Dustin E. Sarver
    • 2
  • Michael J. Kofler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

Personalised recommendations