Attentional and intellectual deficits in unmedicated behavior-disordered adolescent inpatients

Daniel F. Becker, William S. Edell, Terry Ann Fujioka, Kenneth N. Levy, Thomas H. McGlashan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The authors examined the hypothesis that impairments in attention and verbal intelligence are associated with seriously maladaptive social behavior in behavior-disordered, hospitalized adolescents. Twenty-five unmedicated inpatients with disruptive behavior disorder diagnoses were rated during a one-month period for frequency of severe disruptive episodes, or "critical incidents" (CI); these included assaults, behavior resulting in the use of restraints, etc. All subjects independently received intelligence testing and continuous performance testing (CPT). Based on CI scores, subjects were divided into a high-CI group (CI > 5; N = 9) and a low-CI group (CI < 4; N = 16). On the CPT, the high-CI group showed more impairment in perceptual sensitivity (d′); this group also had lower verbal IQ scores. (Both findings were significant at the p < .05 level.) The latter result was largely due to differences in Comprehension subtest scores. These results support the hypothesis, and may have implications for the treatment of behavior-disordered adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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