Selective and Sustained Attention as Predictors of Social Problems in Children With Typical and Disordered Attention Abilities
Investigated the relationship between selective and sustained attention and social behavior in children with different degrees of attentional disturbance. Participants were 101 6- to 12-year-old children, including 18 who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), 61 who were clinically referred for attentional difficulties but did not meet criteria for ADHD, and 22 typically developing children. Two groups of children completed either a sustained attention task or a selective attention task. Task performance was compared with teacher reported social behavior. In support of the investigator's hypothesis poor performance on the sustained attention task correlated with social behavior problems. However, contrary to expectation, poor performance on the selective attention task was not correlated with teacher reported social problems. Results are discussed with specific emphasis on the need to identify underlying cognitive contributions to social dysfunction. The findings support a growing body of research highlighting the negative relationship between inattention and social functioning.