Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which the Stroop Color–Word Test demonstrates sensitivity and specificity for the identification of executive function deficits in children and adolescents. Meta-analytic methods were used to identify executive function deficits associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other developmental disorders. Weighted effect sizes were calculated for all studies found that compared groups of children on the Stroop task. Results indicated that across studies, children and adolescents with ADHD fairly consistently exhibited poorer performance when compared to individuals without clinical diagnoses on the Stroop task as measured by the weighted Word, Color, Color–Word, and Interference scores. The Stroop task did not discriminate ADHD groups from other clinical groups consistently across studies. In conclusion, while impaired performance of the Stroop task may be indicative of an underlying neurological disorder related to frontal lobe dysfunction, poor performance is not sufficient for a diagnosis of ADHD.