Abstract

Neuropsychological deficits in children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been well documented utilizing various neuropsychological tests. Only recently has research begun to examine if similar deficits are present in adults with ADHD. A neuropsychological testing battery was constructed that assessed verbal learning and memory, psychomotor speed, and sustained attention — all demonstrated to be deficient in individuals with ADHD. Fifty-six self-referred nonmedicated adults with a DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD and 38 normal comparison adults participated. ADHD adults demonstrated verbal and nonverbal memory deficits and decreased psychomotor speed compared to normal controls. Differences between ADHD and normal adults were not documented on traditional measures of executive functioning. A pattern of results emerged whereby ADHD adults' performance, particularly with regard to psychomotor speed, became more impaired as task complexity increased. This study's results largely corroborate similar neuropsychological testing results in ADHD children and recent ADHD adult findings, and support a frontal lobe dysfunction hypothesis of ADHD.