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A preliminary investigation of reaction time variability in relation to social functioning in children evaluated for ADHD.

Authors
  • Tamm, Leanne1
  • Epstein, Jeffery N1
  • Becker, Stephen P1
  • 1 a Department of Pediatrics, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center , University of Cincinnati College of Medicine , Cincinnati , OH , USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Child Neuropsychology
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
Volume
25
Issue
7
Pages
885–898
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2018.1523379
PMID: 30246598
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Reaction time variability (RTV) is a ubiquitous phenomenon in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Few studies have examined RTV in relation to functional outcomes such as social impairment in children with ADHD. In this exploratory study, we investigated whether RTV is associated with social functioning in children at risk for ADHD. Specifically, we explored the association between RTV (tau derived from correct go trials of a Stop-Signal task) and social functioning in 198 children ages 7-12 years referred for an ADHD evaluation. Social functioning measures included child and/or parent ratings of social competence, aggression, social problems, and impairment in relationships. In regression analyses that also included Oppositional Defiant Disorder symptoms and sex, higher RTV was significantly associated with lower ratings of social competence, and higher proactive/reactive aggression ratings on the child self-report measures. RTV was not significantly associated with parent report of social functioning or relationship impairment. This study provides preliminary evidence that RTV may be associated with social functioning in children at risk for ADHD. We propose that lapses of attention affecting cognitive control may also negatively impact social information processing thereby affecting social functioning. Replication is warranted and longitudinal studies are needed to investigate whether RTV predicts social dysfunction in ADHD.

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