Objective: Previous research on executive functioning (EF) for child and adolescent depression provided inconsistent results, although most identify some EF deficits in adolescent depression. This study examined EF in child inpatients and outpatients diagnosed with mood disorder. Method: Chart reviews were conducted on 187 children ages 6-12, consecutively referred for neuropsychological screening within an inpatient children's psychiatric program between 2010 and 2014, and 200 outpatient children aged 6-12 referred for neuropsychological evaluation. After exclusion criteria were implemented, the inpatient sample (N = 83) was subdivided into Mood Disorder Group (n = 59) and Inpatient Control Group (N= 24) per discharge diagnosis. The Outpatient Control Group (n = 102) consisted of children without mood disorders who were evaluated at a neuropsychology clinic. Neurocognitive data included WASI-2, WISC-4, WCST, ROCFT, TNT, Stroop, COWAT, WRAML-2, and CPT-II. Results: ANOVAs between the clinical groups and follow-up pairwise comparisons for five subdomains of EF indicated that child inpatients with mood disorder performed less well and had significant impairments in Planning/Problem Solving (p = .000), Working Memory/Simple Attention (p = .000), and Impulse Control/Response Inhibition (p = .043) compared to outpatient controls, but not Cognitive Flexibility & Set Shifting (p = .090) or Verbal Fluency (p = .111). Overall, results suggest that for inpatient children with mood disorder, multiple domains of EF are significantly impaired in comparison to child outpatients with attention disorder diagnoses and no mood disorder. Conclusion: Clinicians should understand that children with mood disorder may demonstrate deficits in EF, particularly in domains implicated in behavior regulation and emotional control, and that these factors may impact psychiatric recovery and symptom reduction.
Childhood Depressive Mood Disorder and its Impact on Executive Function
P Tellock, K Holler, B Kavanaugh, J Dupont-Frechette, I Maher, L Halsey; B-53
Childhood Depressive Mood Disorder and its Impact on Executive Function. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 542. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.148
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