Impairments to Executive Functions in Children with Emotional and Behavioral Dysregulation

Objective. To study the role of executive functions in the genesis of organic emotional lability (asthenic) disorder (OELD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Materials and methods. The study included 66 patients aged 6–8 years, 36 diagnosed with OELD and 30 with ODD. Study methods were: parental assessment of fatigue using a 10-point numerical rating scale, determination of the severity of behavioral impairments using the SNAP-IV scale, assessment of emotional impairments using the Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire, determination of the index of anxiety using the Temple, Dorkey, Amen, and Luria test, and evaluation of auditory verbal memory using the Luriya memorization method. The severity of impairments to attention was evaluated using the computerized test of continuous activity (Test of Variables of Attention, TOVA). Results and conclusions. Cognitive and emotional impairments were severe in children with OELD. It is suggested that while impairment to the functions regulating activation of behavior and impairment to the cognitive control of behavior play important roles in the pathogenesis of OELD, the leading role in children with ODD is played by impairments to behavioral self-regulation associated with emotional reinforcement.

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Correspondence to L. S. Chutko.

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Translated from Zhurnal Nevrologii i Psikhiatrii imeni S. S. Korsakova, Vol. 120, No. 4, Iss. 1, pp. 23–28, April, 2020.

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Chutko, L.S., Surushkina, S.Y., Yakovenko, E.A. et al. Impairments to Executive Functions in Children with Emotional and Behavioral Dysregulation. Neurosci Behav Physi 51, 23–27 (2021).

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  • organic emotional lability (asthenic) disorder
  • oppositional defiant disorder
  • cognitive control
  • executive functions