Lopez-Vicente M, Sunyer J, Forns J, Torrent M, Julvez J. Continuous Performance Test II outcomes in 11-year-old children with early ADHD symptoms: a longitudinal study. Neuropsychology. 2014 Mar;28(2):202-11. doi: 10.1037/neu0000048.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the association between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms at preschool age and attention functioning at 11 years old.

METHOD: Four-year-old children (n = 422) were assessed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) ADHD form list for inattention and hyperactivity symptoms. Cognitive development and social behavior were also assessed at this age. The Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II) was used to assess attention function when the children were 11 years old.

The presence of inattention symptoms predicted more omission errors (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.07, 95% CI [1.02, 1.12]) and slower hit reaction time (HRT; β = 3.27, 95% CI [0.72, 5.81]) in CPT-II. Both inattention and hyperactivity symptoms predicted greater standard error in the HRT (HRT [SE]) (IRR = 1.02, 95% CI [1.01, 1.03]). The inclusion of social competence and cognitive scores in the multivariate regression models diminished the association with omissions, whereas their inclusion did not change associations with the two HRT outcomes. Stronger associations between inattention symptoms and HRT were observed in the last 2 time-duration blocks of the CPT-II. No associations were found with commissions and detectability.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of ADHD symptoms in preschool children was longitudinally associated with a lower performance on the CPT-II. Omission errors seemed to be partly explained by early social and cognitive competences. Slower HRTs showed a direct association with inattention symptoms, particularly in the latest CPT-II blocks. HRT (SE) was strongly related to hyperactivity symptoms.

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