To increase our understanding of how children with ADHD develop behaviorally and neuropsychologically into adulthood, this research looked at the age trajectory of both neuropsychological and behavioral functioning in a group of 54 individuals diagnosed with ADHD. This cross-sectional study compared children, adolescents, and adults with a history of ADHD. They were compared assessing executive functioning, motor functioning, parietal, spatial functioning, and effort, to determine if increased performance of executive and related functions develops over time, regardless of the behavior exhibited. The evidence shows that there is clear evidence for improvement of executive function in several areas over time, especially between the children and adolescents. This was most obvious on the Trails C results, probably the best assessment of executive functioning, but the age-corrected performance on other executive and motor tasks also tended to show improvement in adolescence. Though the results for manual motor speed were unexpected, all age groups were significantly superior when compared to the normative data. With regard to behavioral functioning there were no significant improvements providing evidence that ADHD behaviors do not remit over time. Several possible suggestions for the reasons for the obtained results and directions for future research were provided.
Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Executive Function, Frontal Lobe Development
|Advisor:||Soper, Henry V.|
|Commitee:||Fallon, April, Mac-Neil Horton, Arthur, Newton, Rae|
|School:||Fielding Graduate University|
|Department:||The School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Neurosciences, Mental health, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Delayed maturation, Executive functioning, Frontal lobe development, Neuropsychology|
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