Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 683–697 | Cite as

Validity of the Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, Inattention, and Hyperactivity Symptom Dimensions: Neuropsychological and Psychosocial Correlates

  • José J. Bauermeister
  • Russell A. Barkley
  • José A. Bauermeister
  • José V. Martínez
  • Keith McBurnett


This study examined the latent structure and validity of inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) symptomatology. We evaluated mother and teacher ratings of ADHD and SCT symptoms in 140 Puerto Rican children (55.7% males), ages 6 to 11 years, via factor and regression analyses. A three-factor model (inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and SCT) provided the best fit for both sets of ratings. Inattention was the strongest correlate of lower scores on neuropsychological, achievement, and psychosocial measures. Externalizing problems were most strongly associated with hyperactivity-impulsivity, and internalizing problems were most strongly associated with parent-rated SCT and teacher-rated Inattention. SCT was not associated with executive function but was negatively associated with math. Inattention accounted for a disproportionate amount of ADHD-related impairment, which may explain the restricted discriminant validity of DSM-IV types. The distinct factors of hyperactivity-impulsivity and SCT had unique associations with impairing comorbidities and are roughly equivalent in predicting external correlates of ADHD-related impairment.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) Inattentive subtype Diagnostic classification Executive function 



Data for this study were obtained through NIMH funded grant: 5R24MH49368-06DHHS and the University of Puerto Rico Institutional Fund for Research. We thank Rafael R. Ramírez, Maribel Matos and our research team for their continuous support.

Financial Disclosure

Dr. José J. Bauermeister was an international consultant to Eli Lilly and receives book royalties from Guilford Publications

Dr. Barkley is a speaker/consultant to Eli Lilly, Shire, Janssen-Ortho, Janssen-Cilag, and Novartis. He has also served as an expert witness for Lilly Canada. He receives product royalties from Guilford Publications, Jones and Bartlett, J & K Seminars, and

Dr. McBurnett has received research funding, acted as a consultant, and/or served on an advisory board or speaker's bureau for NIMH, Eli Lilly, Lexicor, McNeil Pediatrics, Shire, Abbott Laboratories, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, New River, and Sigma-Tau.

Dr. José A. Bauermeister and Dr. Martínez have no financial disclosures to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • José J. Bauermeister
    • 1
    • 6
  • Russell A. Barkley
    • 2
  • José A. Bauermeister
    • 3
  • José V. Martínez
    • 4
  • Keith McBurnett
    • 5
  1. 1.Behavioral Science Research Institute and Department of PsychologyUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyCarlos Albizu UniversitySan JuanPuerto Rico
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.University of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico

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