Factor structure of a sluggish cognitive tempo scale in clinically-referred children.

Department of Neuropsychology, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 1750 E. Fairmount Ave., Baltimore, MD, 21231, USA, .
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.09). 05/2012; 40(8):1327-37. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-012-9643-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT "Sluggish cognitive tempo" (SCT) is a construct hypothesized to describe a constellation of behaviors that includes daydreaming, lethargy, drowsiness, difficulty sustaining attention, and underactivity. Although the construct has been inconsistently defined, measures of SCT have shown associations with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly inattention. Thus, better characterization of SCT symptoms may help to better predict specific areas of functional difficulty in children with ADHD. The present study examined psychometric characteristics of a recently developed 14-item scale of SCT (Penny et al., Psychological Assessment 21:380-389, 2009), completed by teachers on children referred for outpatient neuropsychological assessment. Exploratory factor analysis identified three factors in the clinical sample: Sleepy/Sluggish, Slow/Daydreamy, and Low Initiation/Persistence. Additionally, SCT symptoms, especially those loading on the Sleepy/Sluggish and Slow/Daydreamy factors, correlated more strongly with inattentive than with hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, while Low Initiation/Persistence symptoms added significant unique variance (over and above symptoms of inattention) to the predictions of impairment in academic progress.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Few studies have examined whether separate dimensions of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) – inconsistent alertness and slowness – have different external correlates from each other as well as symptoms of ADHD inattention (IN). Method: Participants were 131 Spanish children (ages 6-16; 72% boys) diagnosed with ADHD. Results: In regression analyses, ADHD-IN was positively associated with hyperactivity/impulsivity, conduct problems, defiance/aggression, anxiety, peer relations problems, and learning problems. SCT-inconsistent alertness was positively associated with hyperactivity/impulsivity and peer relations problems. In contrast, SCT-slowness was negatively associated with hyperactivity/impulsivity and conduct problems and positively associated with depression and learning problems. Results were consistent after controlling for depression, medication status, and sex. Conclusion: The findings support SCT to be a construct with two dimensions that have unique correlates relative to each other as well as ADHD-IN. Future research on SCT should separate these dimensions of SCT in order to provide a better understanding of the construct.
    Journal of Attention Disorders 07/2014; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) oftewel een vertraagd cognitief tempo is op het moment een veel besproken onderwerp binnen het kader van de aandachtstekortstoornis met hyperactiviteit (ADHD). SCT is een sociaal-emotionele stijl die wordt gekenmerkt door ‘dagdromen’, ‘in de war zijn’, ‘in het niets staren’, ‘vertraagd reageren’ en ‘ongemotiveerd zijn’. Dit artikel geeft een overzicht van de meest recente bevindingen over SCT en ADHD en SCT bij andere aandoeningen. Daarnaast wordt ingegaan op de beschikbare meetinstrumenten voor SCT, de relatie tussen SCT en cognitief functioneren, de invloed van SCT op internaliserende stoornissen zoals depressie en angst en op de effecten van SCT op de schoolprestaties en het sociaal-emotioneel functioneren.
    Neuropraxis. 11/2014; 18(6):194-201.
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the burgeoning scientific literature examining the sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) construct, very little is known about the clinical presentation of SCT. In clinical cases where SCT is suspected, it is critical to carefully assess not only for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but also for other comorbidities that may account for the SCT-related behaviors, especially internalizing symptoms and sleep problems. The current case study provides a clinical description of SCT in a 7-year-old girl, offering a real-life portrait of SCT while also providing an opportunity to qualitatively differentiate between SCT and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), other psychopathologies (e.g., depression, anxiety), and potentially related domains of functioning (e.g., sleep, executive functioning). “Jessica” was described by herself, parents, and teacher as being much slower than her peers in completing schoolwork, despite standardized testing showing Jessica to have above average intelligence and academic achievement. Jessica’s parents completed rating scales indicating high levels of SCT symptoms and daytime sleepiness, as well as mildly elevated EF deficits. More research is needed to determine how to best conceptualize, assess, and treat SCT, and Jessica’s case underscores the importance of further work in this area.
    Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 09/2014;


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May 19, 2014