Sustained and Selective Attention in Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Attempted to clarify the nature of the sustained and selective attention deficits implicated in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Specifically, performance on the Continuous Performance Test (CPT; Sergeant & van der Meere, 1990) and speeded classification task was assessed for a group of 7- to 12- year old ADHD boys and their same-aged normal peers. Results of the CPT indicated that both perceptual sensitivity and omission errors increased over time for the ADHD boys to a greater degree than for the control boys, findings indicative of a sustained attention deficit. Results of the speeded classification task indicated the ADHD children's performance was not as efficient as normal children. However, there was no evidence for a selective attention deficit. Findings are discussed in terms of a process-energy model of attention.

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