The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist

Articles

Attentional Problems and Subtypes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

David Zagoa1, Nick Rosomana2, David Shuma3 c1, Michael O'Callaghana4 and Anthony Lesleya5

a1 School of Psychology, Griffith University.

a2 School of Psychology, Griffith University.

a3 School of Psychology, and Griffith Institute of Health and Medical Research, Griffith University. D.Shum@griffith.edu.au

a4 Mater Children's Hospital.

a5 Mater Children's Hospital.

Abstract

This study aimed to compare children with different ADHD subtypes and controls on measures of attention, and to examine the relationships between measures of attention and reading and spelling ability. Thirty-eight children with ADHD and sixteen controls were administered tests of four components of attention (viz., attention span, focused attention, selective attention and shifting attention) and two subtests (viz., reading and spelling) from the WRAT-3. The children with ADHD-Combined subtype were found to show deficits in attention span and focused attention, while the children with ADHD-Inattentive subtype were found to show deficits in shifting attention, and subtler deficits in attention span and focused attention. Measures of attention span were found to be significant predictors of reading ability, and measures of attention span and selective attention were found to be significant predictors of spelling ability. These results suggest that different ADHD subtypes show different patterns of attentional problems that have different neuroanatomical bases. Furthermore, academic problems in children with ADHD may be related to their attentional problems.

Keywords

  • Attention;
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder;
  • Children

Correspondence

c1 Address for Correspondence: David Shum, PhD School of Psychology, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia 4111