Relationships between learning disability, executive function, and psychopathology in children with ADHD

Richard E. Mattison, Susan Dickerson Mayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Objective: Learning disabilities (LD), executive function (EF), and psychopathology were investigated to clarify their relationships in 595 children with ADHD. Method: Standard instruments for IQ, achievement, EF, and parent and teacher ratings of psychopathology were obtained at the time of outpatient evaluation. Results: Comparisons between the 437 children with LD (as defined by predicted achievement) and the 158 children without LD showed significantly worse EF in the LD group but no significant differences in verbal or performance IQ. Parent and teacher ratings of both ADHD and non-ADHD psychopathology also showed no significant differences between LD and No LD groups. Correlational analyses found that IQ, EF, and achievement measures were significantly related to each other; the same was also true for subscales of psychopathology as rated by parent and teachers. However, significant correlations between the cognitive/achievement measures and the psychopathology ratings were few. Conclusion: The addition of LD to ADHD appears to be associated with worse executive dysfunction, but it does not affect ADHD or non-ADHD psychopathology according to both parents and teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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