Neuropsychological characteristics and test behaviors of boys with early onset conduct problems

Matthew L. Speltz, Michelle DeKlyen, Rose Calderon, Mark T. Greenberg, Philip A. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


School-age children and adolescents with conduct problems typically exhibit deficits in verbal IQ, language abilities, and executive functions. This study examined the extent to which this pattern was evident in a clinic group of preschool boys with early onset conduct problems who met criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A 2nd question focused on the strength of relation between clinic boys' uncooperative or inattentive test behaviors and their test performance. As expected, the clinic boys showed a neuropsychological profile highly similar to the one found in older conduct problem populations. Verbal tests distinguished clinic from matched comparison boys even after controlling for observers' ratings of disruptive behavior during testing. Clinic boys with ODD and ADHD had lower verbal and executive function scores than clinic boys with ODD alone. After general vocabulary knowledge and test behavior were controlled, clinic boys were found to have poorer vocabularies for describing affective states than comparison group boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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