Adhd, working memory, phonological, hyperactivity, behavioral observations, attention, models
Excessive gross motor activity is currently considered a ubiquitous and disruptive feature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, an alternative model challenges this premise and hypothesizes a functional relationship between activity level, attention, and working memory. The current study investigated whether, and the extent to which, particular forms of gross motor activity are functionally related to children’s attention and phonological working memory performance. Objective observations of children’s gross motor movements and attention by independent observers were conducted while children with ADHD (n = 29) and typically developing children (n = 23) completed multiple counterbalanced tasks entailing low and high phonological working memory demand. The tasks were then sequenced hierarchically to reflect the lowest to highest activity level condition for each child. Results revealed that (a) ADHDrelated phonological working memory performance deficits are moderated by increases in intraindividual activity level, (b) heightened activity level impacts performance independently of changes in observed attention, and (c) increases in particular forms of movement (foot movement and out-of-chair movement) contribute to greater phonological working memory performance within the context of attentive behavior. The findings collectively indicate that phonological working memory deficits in children with ADHD are associated with an inability to up-regulate motor activity to facilitate optimal task performance, and that behavioral treatments targeting reductions in certain forms of hyperactivity may have unintended consequences on working memory functioning in ADHD.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Sarver, Dustin, "Hyperactivity In Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (adhd): Testing Functional Relationships With Phonological Working Memory Performance And Attention" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2985.