Selective and sustained attention in children with and without attention difficulties
LE3 .A278 2000
Master of Science
The present study investigated selective and sustained attention in children with and without ADHD. Twenty children with ADHD, 26 non-ADHD control children, and 29 clinic referred control children (CRNA) were tested using three computer tasks. These tasks included a Visual Search Task (with the inclusion of an abrupt onset distracter) as a measure of selective attention, a Continuous Performance Task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a Visual Processing Task as a measure of basic visual skills. Reaction times and accuracy were measured. Results indicated that children with ADHD were less accurate, had slower reaction time's, and were more generally distracted by the occurrence of an abruptly occurring non-target than control children on the visual search task. ADHD children also demonstrated evidence of a basic visual processing deficit which was subsequently controlled for in the statistical analysis. On the CPT, children with ADHD had the largest mean omission totals and demonstrated a steady increase in errors of omission and decrease in errors of commission over the duration of the task. These findings are discussed along with implications for research and assessment with children challenged by ADHD.
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