Working Memory Capacity and ADHD Symptoms in Boys: Examining the Heterogeneity of Working Memory Functioning Using Latent Profile Analysis

Mileini Campez, Joseph S. Raiker, Dustin E. Sarver, Lauren M. Friedman, Sarah A. Orban, Mark D. Rapport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies demonstrate that working memory (WM) is integral to etiological models of ADHD; however, significant questions persist regarding the relation between WM performance across tasks with varying cognitive demands and ADHD symptoms. The current study incorporates an individual differences approach to WM heterogeneity (i.e., latent profile analysis) to (a) identify differential profiles of WM across the phonological and visuospatial WM subsystems; and (b) characterize differences in symptom presentation among WM profiles. Parent and teacher ratings of child behavior, obtained for boys with (n = 51) and without (n = 38) a diagnosis of ADHD, were compared across latent classes of visuospatial and phonological WM performance. Latent profile analysis identified three classes of WM functioning: Low WM, Moderate WM, and High WM. Membership in the Low and Moderate WM classes was associated with greater levels of parent- and teacher-rated inattentive and hyperactive symptoms. While 84% of the ADHD group were assigned to the Low and Moderate WM classes, more than a quarter of children without ADHD exhibited Moderate WM limitations. Collectively, these findings extend prior work suggesting that there is substantial heterogeneity in WM functioning in children with and without ADHD and that these differences contribute to the expression of symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-463
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Children
  • Executive functioning
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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