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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020204

Effect of Taekwondo Practice on Cognitive Function in Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

1
Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar Said, University of Manouba, Manouba 2010, Tunisia
2
Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Gafsa, University of Gafsa, Gafsa 2100, Tunisia
3
Postgraduate School of Public Health, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Genoa University, 16132 Genoa, Italy
4
Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), Section of Psychiatry, Genoa University, 16132 Genoa, Italy
5
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
6
Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax 3000, Tunisia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Sport Activity on Health Promotion)
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Abstract

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neuro-developmental/behavioral disorders among adolescents. Sport and physical activity seem to play a major role in the development of cognition, memory, selective attention and motor reaction time, especially among adolescents with ADHD. In this context, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a one-and-a-half-year-long Taekwondo (TKD) intervention on cognitive function in adolescents with ADHD. Two cognitive instruments, namely the Stroop and the Ruff 2 and 7 tests, were administered to assess attentional inhibitory control and sustained and selective visual attention, respectively. Comparisons between the TKD and control groups at baseline did not reveal significant differences. For post-test scores, there were statistically significant differences on the Stroop color block test (large effect size or ES = 1.26 [95% confidence interval or CI 0.30–2.22]), the color-word interference test (large ES = 2.16 [95% CI 1.10–3.26]), the interference test (large ES = 1.63 [95% CI 0.62–2.64]) and error (large ES = −2.20 [95% CI −3.31 to −1.10]). Similar trends were reported for the Ruff 2 and 7 automated detection trials (large ES = 2.78 [95% CI 1.55–4.01]), controlled search trials (large ES = 2.56 [95% CI 1.38–3.75]) and total speed (large ES = −2.90 [95% CI −4.15 to −1.64]). In conclusion, TKD practice increased selective attention in adolescents with ADHD. Practitioners should implement martial art programs in their general plans to favorably influence attention and health in adolescents with ADHD. View Full-Text
Keywords: ADHD disorder; cognitive functions; taekwondo; martial art ADHD disorder; cognitive functions; taekwondo; martial art
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kadri, A.; Slimani, M.; Bragazzi, N.L.; Tod, D.; Azaiez, F. Effect of Taekwondo Practice on Cognitive Function in Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 204.

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