Abstract

Neuropsychological test performance relative to published norms and parent ratings was assessed archivally among 78 children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Despite average to low average IQs and academic achievement, the children performed poorly relative to test norms on most measures sensitive to fronto-executive functioning (span of attention, sustained attention, response inhibition, and working memory). They also performed poorly on most memory tests requiring free recall/retrieval, a skill dependent in part on intact frontal/subcortical functioning. In contrast, performance fell within the average to low average range on all measures of retention, although some mean scores fell significantly below normative means. In addition, higher levels of inattention or hyperactivity as assessed from parent reports were associated with worse performance on neuropsychological tests. That is, correlations calculated between neuropsychological test scores and parent ratings on the Adaptive Behavior Scale (ABS) were both significant at the P<. 05 level and in the expected direction in 33% of the analyses for ratings of attention, in 43% of the analyses for ratings of hyperactivity, and in 5% of the analyses for ratings of persistence.