Is Poor Working Memory a Transdiagnostic Risk Factor for Psychopathology?
- 971 Downloads
In contrast to historical conceptualizations that framed psychological disorders as distinct, categorical conditions, it is now widely understood that co- and multi-morbidities between disorders are extensive. As a result, there has been a call to better understand the dimensional liabilities that are common to and influence the development of multiple psychopathologies, as supported and exemplified by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. We use a latent variable SEM approach to examine the degree to which working memory deficits represent a cognitive liability associated with the development of common and discrete dimensions of psychopathology. In a sample of 415 community recruited children aged 8–12 (n = 170 girls), we fit a bi-factor model to parent reports of behavior from the DISC-4 and BASC-2, and included a latent working memory factor as a predictor of the internalizing, externalizing, and general “p-factor.” We found that both the general “p-factor” and externalizing (but not internalizing) latent factor were significantly associated with working memory. When a bi-factor model of externalizing symptomology was fit to further explore this relationship, working memory was only correlated with the general externalizing dimension; correlation with specific inattention, hyperactive/impulsive, and oppositional factors did not survive once the general externalizing dimension was taken into consideration. These findings held regardless of the sex of the child. Our results suggest that working memory deficits represent both a common cognitive liability for mental health disorders, and a specific liability for externalizing disorders.
KeywordsExecutive function Working memory Bifactor P-factor Externalizing
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This work was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01 MH084947 to Cynthia Huang-Pollock. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent (assent for children) was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Arias, V. B., Ponce, F. P., Martínez-Molina, A., Arias, B., & Núñez, D. (2016). General and specific attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder factors of children 4 to 6 years of age: an exploratory structural equation modeling approach to assessing symptom multidimensionality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125, 125–137. doi: 10.1037/abn0000115.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baddeley, A. D. (1986). Working memory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Barkley, R. A., Edwards, G., Laneri, M., Fletcher, K., & Metevia, L. (2001). Executive functioning, temporal discounting, and sense of time in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 29, 541–556.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Braver, T. S., Krug, M. K., Chiew, K. S., Kool, W., Westbrook, J. A., Clement, N. J., & Somerville, L. H. (2014). Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: challenges and opportunities. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14, 443–472. doi: 10.3758/s13415-014-0300-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brown, T. A. (2015). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
- Bull, R., Espy, K. A., & Wiebe, S. A. (2008). Short-term memory, working memory, and executive functioning in preschoolers: longitudinal predictors of mathematical achievement at age 7 years. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33, 205–228. doi: 10.1080/87565640801982312.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Caspi, A., Houts, R. M., Belsky, D. W., Goldman-Mellor, S. J., Harrington, H., Israel, S., & Moffitt, T. E. (2014). The p factor: one general psychopathology factor in the structure of psychiatric disorders? Clinical Psychological Science, 2, 119–137. doi: 10.1177/2167702613497473.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cohen-Gilbert, J. E., Killgore, W. D. S., White, C. N., Schwab, Z. J., Crowley, D. J., Covell, M. J., et al. (2014). Differential influence of safe versus threatening facial expressions on decision-making during an inhibitory control task in adolescence and adulthood. Developmental Science, 17, 212–223. doi: 10.1111/desc.12123.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Collishaw, S., Goodman, R., Ford, T., Rabe-Hesketh, S., & Pickles, A. (2009). How far are associations between child, family and community factors and child psychopathology informant-specific and informant-general? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 571–580. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.02026.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Conners, C. K. (2008). Conners’ rating scales—3 technical manual. New York: Multi-Health Systems Inc..Google Scholar
- Enders, C. K. (2010). Applied missing data analysis. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Engle, R., Kane, M., & Tuholski, S. (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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Essex, M. J., Kraemer, H. C., Armstrong, J. M., Boyce, T., Goldsmith, H. H., Klein, M. H., & Kupfer, D. J. (2006). Exploring risk factors for the emergence of children's mental health problems. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63, 1246–1256. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.63.11.1246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Huang-Pollock, C. L., Mikami, A. Y., Pfiffner, L., & McBurnett, K. (2007). ADHD subtype differences in motivational responsivity but not inhibitory control: evidence from a reward-based variation of the stop signal paradigm. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 127–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Huang-Pollock, C., Ratcliff, R., McKoon, G., Shapiro, Z., Weigard, A., & Galloway-Long, H. (2016). Using the diffusion model to explain cognitive deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 1–12. doi: 10.1007/s10802-016-0151-y.
- Kane, M. J., Conway, A., Hambrick, D. Z., & Engle, R. W. (2007). Variation in working memory capacity as variation in executive attention and control. In A. R. A. Conway, C. Jarrold, M. J. Kane, A. Miyake, & J. N. Towse (Eds.), Variation in working memory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kendler, K. S., Walters, E. E., Neale, M. C., Kessler, R. C., Heath, A. C., & Eaves, L. J. (1995). The structure of the genetic and environmental risk factors for 6 major psychiatric disorders in women: phobia, generalized anxiety DIsorder, panic disorder, bulimia, major depression, and alcoholism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52, 374–383.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kessler, R. C., McGonagle, K. A., Zhao, S. Y., Nelson, C. B., Hughes, M., Eshleman, S., & Kendler, K. S. (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 51, 8–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lahey, B. B., Rathouz, P. J., Van Hulle, C., Urbano, R. C., Krueger, R. F., Applegate, B., et al. (2008). Testing structural models of DSM-IV symptoms of common forms of child and adolescent psychopathology. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 187–206. doi: 10.1007/s10802-007-9169-5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Martel, M. M., Roberts, B., Gremillion, M., von Eye, A., & Nigg, J. T. (2011). External validation of bifactor model of ADHD: explaining heterogeneity in psychiatric comorbidity, cognitive control, and personality trait profiles within DSM-IV ADHD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 1111–1123. doi: 10.1007/s10802-011-9538-y.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Martel, M. M., von Eye, A., & Nigg, J. (2012). Developmental differences in structure of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between childhood and adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36, 279–292. doi: 10.1177/0165025412444077.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McAlonan, G. M., Cheung, V., Cheung, C., Chua, S. E., Murphy, D. G. M., Suckling, J., et al. (2007). Mapping brain structure in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder: a voxel-based MRI study of regional grey and white matter volume. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 154, 171–180. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2006.09.006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Merikangas, K. R., He, J. P., Burstein, M., Swanson, S. A., Avenevoli, S., Cui, L. H., et al. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 980–989. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.05.017.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Moustafa, A. A., Keri, S., Somlai, Z., Balsdon, T., Frydecka, D., Misiak, B., & White, C. (2015). Drift diffusion model of reward and punishment learning in schizophrenia: modeling and experimental data. Behavioural Brain Research, 291, 147–154. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.05.024.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Muthén, L.K., & Muthén, B.O. (1998-2012). Mplus user’s guide, 7th Ed. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & MuthénGoogle Scholar
- Norman, D. A., & Shallice, T. (1986). Attention to action: willed and automatic control of behavior. In R. J. Davidson, G. E. Schwartz, & D. Shapiro (Eds.), Consciousness and self-regulation: advances in research and theory (Vol. 4, pp. 1–18). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
- Reynolds, C., & Kamphaus, R. (2004). Behavioral assessment system for children, 2nd Ed. Manual. MN: AGS Publishing.Google Scholar
- Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Lucas, C. P., Dulcan, M. K., & Schwab-Stone, M. E. (2000). NIMH diagnostic interview schedule for children version IV (NIMH DISC-IV): description, differences from previous versions, and reliability of some common diagnoses. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 28–38.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sheslow, D., & Adams, W. (2003). Wide range assessment of memory and learning, 2nd Ed (WRAML-2): administration and technical manual. DE: Wide Range.Google Scholar
- Shiels, K., Hawk Jr., L. W., Lysczek, C. L., Tannock, R., Pelham Jr., W. E., Spencer, S. V., et al. (2008). The effects of incentives on visual-spatial working memory in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 903–913. doi: 10.1007/s10802-008-9221-0.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Steiger, J., & Lind, J. (1980). Statistically based tests for the number of common factors. Paper presented at the psychometric society annual meeting, Iowa City.Google Scholar
- Tackett, J. L., Lahey, B. B., van Hulle, C., Waldman, I., Krueger, R. F., & Rathouz, P. J. (2013). Common genetic influences on negative emotionality and a general psychopathology factor in childhood and adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 1142–1153. doi: 10.1037/a0034151.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tannock, R. (2009). ADHD with anxiety disorders. In T. E. Brown (Ed.), ADHD comorbidities: handbook for ADHD complications in children and adults (pp. 131–155). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc..Google Scholar
- Toplak, M. E., Pitch, A., Flora, D. B., Iwenofu, L., Ghelani, K., Jain, U., & Tannock, R. (2009). The unity and diversity of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in ADHD: evidence for a general factor with separable dimensions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 1137–1150. doi: 10.1007/s10802-009-9336-y.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Toplak, M. E., Sorge, G. B., Flora, D. B., Chen, W., Banaschewski, T., Buitelaar, J., et al. (2012). The hierarchical factor model of ADHD: invariant across age and national groupings? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 292–303. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02500.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Towse, J., Hutton, U., & Hitch, G. (1998). Grass is coloured…red? Further sentence completion norms for children during a working memory reading task (Tech Rep No CDRG3). Retrieved from http://www.pc.rhbnc.ac.uk/papers/tr.html.
- Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler intelligence scale for children- fourth edition: technical and interpretive manual. San Antonio: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
- Weigard, A., & Huang-Pollock, C. L. (2016). The role of speed in ADHD-related working memory deficits: a time-based resource-sharing and diffusion model account. Clinical Psychological Science, (in press).Google Scholar
- Weigard, A., Huang-Pollock, C., & Brown, S. (2016). Evaluating the consequences of impaired monitoring of learned behavior in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using a Bayesian hierarchical model of choice response time. Neuropsychology, 30, 502–515. doi: 10.1037/neu0000257.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Willcutt, E. G., Pennington, B. F., Boada, R., Ogline, J. S., Tunick, R. A., Chhabildas, N. A., & Olson, R. K. (2001). A comparison of the cognitive deficits in reading disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 157–172. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.1001.1.157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Young, S. E., Friedman, N. P., Miyake, A., Willcutt, E. G., Corley, R. P., Haberstick, B. C., & Hewitt, J. K. (2009). Behavioral disinhibition: liability for externalizing spectrum disorders and its genetic and environmental relation to response inhibition across adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 117–130. doi: 10.1037/a0014657.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Youngstrom, E., Loeber, R., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (2000). Patterns and correlates of agreement between parent, teacher, and male adolescent ratings of externalizing and internalizing problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 1038–1050. doi: 10.1037/0022-006x.68.6.1038.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar