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Open AccessArticle

Design Fluency in Children with ADHD and Comorbid Disorders

1
Department of Psychology, University of Sherbrooke, Longueuil, QC J4K 0A8, Canada
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Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Laval Campus, Laval, QC H7N 0B6, Canada
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Department of Psychology, University of Quebec in Montreal, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(3), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10030172
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2020 / Accepted: 13 March 2020 / Published: 17 March 2020
Background: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often associated with frontal executive impairment in children. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and anxiety disorders (AD) frequently accompany ADHD, but the impact of these comorbid disorders on cognition remains elusive. The five-point test (FPT), a design fluency task, has been shown to be sensitive to neurological damage, specifically to frontal lobe lesions in patients with brain injuries. The purpose of this study was to compare the performances of neurotypical children with that of children with ADHD, ADHD-ODD, and ADHD-AD on the FPT in order to examine whether these groups could be distinguished from one another based on their cognitive profile. Methods: A total of 111 children aged 8 to 11 years old participated in the study. Six measures from the FPT were used to characterize their performance. Results: Statistically significant differences between groups were observed for five of the six FPT measures. Essentially, children with ADHD-ODD made more repeated designs than the three other groups (control p > 0.001, ADHD p = 0.008, ADHD-AD p = 0.008), while children with ADHD-AD produced fewer total and correct designs than the control and ADHD groups (p = 0.009). Conclusions: This suggests that comorbidities have an additive impact on the cognitive profile of children with ADHD. Design fluency may be a sensitive measure for capturing the subtle cognitive deficits that are likely to be involved in these disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: executive function; developmental disabilities; attention deficit and disruptive behavior disorders; oppositional defiant disorder; anxiety disorders executive function; developmental disabilities; attention deficit and disruptive behavior disorders; oppositional defiant disorder; anxiety disorders
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Fournier, A.; Gauthier, B.; Guay, M.-C.; Parent, V. Design Fluency in Children with ADHD and Comorbid Disorders. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 172.

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