A comprehensive investigation of memory impairment in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder

Sinead M. Rhodes, Joanne Park, Sarah Seth, David R. Coghill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)
423 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We conducted a comprehensive and systematic assessment of memory functioning indrug-naïve boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Boys performed verbal and spatial working memory (WM) component (storage and central executive) and verbal and spatial storage load tasks, and the spatial span, spatial executive WM, spatial recognition memory and verbal recognition memory tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Groups comprised: (a) ADHD only (N = 21); (b) ADHD+ODD (N = 27); (c) ODD only (N = 21); and (d) typically developing (TYP) boys (N = 26). Groups were matched for age (M = 9.7 years) and sex (all boys). Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the presence of five factors: verbal functioning, spatial functioning, WM storage, WM central executive and long-term memory (LTM). All three clinical groups demonstrated impaired memory performance. Boys with ODD and ODD+ADHD but not ADHD alone performed poorly on verbal memory tasks, whilst all three clinical groups showed impaired performance on spatial memory tasks. All three clinical groups performed poorly on the storage and central executive WM factors and the LTM factor. ADHD and ODD are characterised by impaired performance storage and central executive WM tasks and LTM tasks. This is, we believe, the first report of impaired WM and LTM performance in ODD. This study suggests that verbal memory difficulties are more closely associated with ODD than ADHD symptoms and that combined ADHD+ODD represents a true comorbidity. The data also support a small but growing number of suggestions in the literature of impaired LTM in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume53
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jul 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • working memory
  • long-term memory
  • executive function
  • ADHD
  • ODD
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • oppositional defiant disorder

Cite this