Evidence of poor planning in children with attention deficits
SourceJournal of abnormal child psychology
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This study examined the planning performance of children with attention deficits, and also investigated the possible interactions between inattention and anxiety in the performance of executive function tasks. A group of 98 children (grades 4 and 6), derived from an initial group of 550, were assigned to an attention difficulties group (AD) and a control group (n = 49 each) based on their scores on a variety of cognitive attention measures and teacher scales of attention and hyperactivity. The two groups were matched on age, gender, parental education, non-verbal and verbal ability. They were compared on Crack-the-Code (C-t-C) action-planning task, embedded and ambiguous figures and Theory of Mind tasks. Analyses indicated that the failure of AD children on cognitive performance measures is linked to planning impairments. The co-occurrence of anxiety, in turn, did not interact with inattention to affect planning performance differentially. Implications of these findings for the current discussion about the cognitive and emotional processes underlying impaired performance among children with attention deficits on executive control tasks are discussed. © 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.