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Executive functions and AD/HD related behaviours in school children / Svjetlana Salkičević, Meri Tadinac, Ivana Hromatko.

By: Salkičević, Svjetlana.
Contributor(s): Tadinac, Meri [aut] | Hromatko, Ivana [aut].
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleDescription: .Other title: Executive functions and AD/HD related behaviours in school children [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): 5.06 | Executive functions; ADHD; school success | Executive functions; ADHD; school successOnline resources: Click here to access online In: 9th FENS Forum of NeuroscienceAbstract: Executive functions include a variety of processes that enable an individual to behave in a way that is purposeful and makes him/her able to attain different goals in everyday life. For children, school is an environment in which different goals are set before them: getting good grades, behaving appropriately and socialising. AD/HD is a developmental disorder prevalent in 3-5% of children that makes attaining those goals difficult. However, some of the AD/HD typical behaviours can be found in children without an AD/HD diagnosis, but little is known about the relevance of those behaviours for their everyday functioning. Therefore, we wanted to explore the relationship among executive functions, school success and behaviours typical for AD/HD on children without an AD/HD diagnosis. Parents of 102 elementary school pupils (51% male), between ages 8 and 10, filled out questionnaires about their child’s behaviour. The results show that behaviours typical for AD/HD, even when they do not reach clinical critical values for the disorder, are positively correlated with problems in various measures of executive functions and negatively with some school grades (Croatian language and mathematics). Measures of working memory and inhibition are among those which show the highest correlations with both AD/HD scale and school grades (being negatively related to the former and positively to the latter). This finding suggests that even in children without an AD/HD diagnosis, the disruptive behavioural characteristic of this disorder, combined with weaker executive functioning, are related to school success and important for their day-to-day behaviour.
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Executive functions include a variety of processes that enable an individual to behave in a way that is purposeful and makes him/her able to attain different goals in everyday life. For children, school is an environment in which different goals are set before them: getting good grades, behaving appropriately and socialising. AD/HD is a developmental disorder prevalent in 3-5% of children that makes attaining those goals difficult. However, some of the AD/HD typical behaviours can be found in children without an AD/HD diagnosis, but little is known about the relevance of those behaviours for their everyday functioning. Therefore, we wanted to explore the relationship among executive functions, school success and behaviours typical for AD/HD on children without an AD/HD diagnosis. Parents of 102 elementary school pupils (51% male), between ages 8 and 10, filled out questionnaires about their child’s behaviour. The results show that behaviours typical for AD/HD, even when they do not reach clinical critical values for the disorder, are positively correlated with problems in various measures of executive functions and negatively with some school grades (Croatian language and mathematics). Measures of working memory and inhibition are among those which show the highest correlations with both AD/HD scale and school grades (being negatively related to the former and positively to the latter). This finding suggests that even in children without an AD/HD diagnosis, the disruptive behavioural characteristic of this disorder, combined with weaker executive functioning, are related to school success and important for their day-to-day behaviour.

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