Inattentive and noninattentive ADHD children: Do they constitute a unitary group?

Jeffrey M. Halperin, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Vanshdeep Sharma, Jane M. Healey, Lorraine E. Wolf, Daisy M. Pascualvaca, Susan Schwartz

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Teacher-rated ADHD and normal control children were administered a continuous performance test (CPT), and were then further subdivided based upon the presence or absence of objectively assessed attentional deficits. In addition, children were assessed using several measures of cognitive and behavioral functioning. Attentional deficits were signficantly more prevalent among the ADHD group, but about half of the ADHD children showed no evidence of objectively assessed attentional dysfunction. Further group analyses indicated that ADHD children with objectively assessed attentional dysfunction appeared cognitively impaired, while ADHD children without objective evidence of attentional dysfunction had more conduct problems. CPT inattention was not related to the presence of cognitive impairments or conduct problems in the control group. These data must be considered preliminary because teacher ratings were the only source of diagnosis and a single measure of inattention was used. However, they suggest that two subtypes of ADHD children can be identified, one characterized by inattention and learning problems, and the other by conduct problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-449
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1990


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