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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Joe Elliott

Holmes, J., Gathercole, S.E., Place, M., Alloway, T.P., Elliott, J. & Hilton, K. A. (2010). The diagnostic utility of executive function assessments in the identification of ADHD in children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health 15(1): 37-43.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Background: Deficits in executive functions have been widely reported to characterise individuals with ADHD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of a range of executive function measures for identifying children with ADHD.

Method: Eighty-three children with ADHD and 50 normally-developing children without ADHD were assessed on measures of inhibition, set-shifting, planning, problem-solving, response inhibition, sustained attention and working memory. Measures of sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and diagnostic odds ratios were calculated.

Results: Executive function tasks effectively discriminated between children with and without ADHD. Measures of response inhibition and working memory contributed the most to the discriminant function.

Conclusions: Cognitive measures of executive function can be used to help identify children with ADHD and could be useful as additional diagnostic tools for clinical practitioners.