A Cross-Lagged Model of the Development of ADHD Inattention Symptoms and Rapid Naming Speed

Abstract

Although previous research has identified contemporaneous associations between cognitive deficits and symptom phenotypes in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, no studies have as yet attempted to identify direction of effect. The present study used cross-lagged path modeling to examine competing hypotheses about longitudinal associations between rapid naming speed and symptoms of inattention in children. 1,506 school-age twins from Australia and the U.S. were tested for inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and rapid naming speed at three and four time points, respectively. Symptom severity of inattention from Kindergarten to fourth grade is consistently predicted by previous rapid naming, over and above auto-regressive and correlational associations in the model. Likewise, inattention symptoms have a small but significant predictive effect on subsequent rapid naming. The findings support a reciprocal relationship between naming speed and ADHD inattentive symptoms.

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Correspondence to Anne B. Arnett.

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This research is being conducted with the support of The Research Council of Norway (154715/330), The Swedish Research Council (345-2002-3701), University of Stavanger, Australian Research Council (A79906201, DP0770805, and DP0663498), and National Institutes of Health (2 P50 HD27802 and 1 R01 HD38526). We are grateful to the many twins, their families, and the twins’ teachers for their participation and to the Colorado and Australian Twin Registries for their assistance. The Australian Twin Registry is supported by an Enabling Grant from the National Health & Medical Research Council administered by The University of Melbourne.

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Arnett, A.B., Pennington, B.F., Willcutt, E. et al. A Cross-Lagged Model of the Development of ADHD Inattention Symptoms and Rapid Naming Speed. J Abnorm Child Psychol 40, 1313–1326 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-012-9644-5

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Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Rapid naming speed
  • Processing speed
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Longitudinal