Metacognitive and emotional/motivational executive functions in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: preliminary results

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Deficits in executive functions (EF) are frequently observed in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to evaluate executive performances of children with ASD and ADHD, and then make between-group comparisons as well as comparisons with a control group.

METHODS: A total of 58 subjects were recruited, 17 with ASD but without intellectual impairment, 18 with ADHD-combined presentation and 23 with typical development, matched on gender, chronological age and intellectual level. They were tested on some EF domains, namely planning, mental flexibility, response inhibition and generativity, which account for both metacognitive and emotional/motivational executive functions. Results. Results showed a large overlapping of EF dysfunctions in ASD and ADHD and were not indicative of the presence of two real distinct EF profiles. Nevertheless, in ADHD, a more severe deficit in prepotent response inhibition (emotional/motivational EF) was found.

CONCLUSIONS: Results are partially consistent with those found in the literature. Further studies with larger samples are needed to determine how ASD and ADHD differ in terms of their strengths and weaknesses across EF domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-9
Number of pages6
JournalRivista di Psichiatria
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016

Keywords

  • English Abstract
  • Journal Article

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