Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Yuma Tomes, PhD

Third Advisor

Richard Allen, PsyD


Children with Emotional Disturbance and ADHD demonstrate social, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that present many challenges for School Psychologists because of differences between each student’s individual needs. A high level of comorbidity exists for these children with internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Little is known about neurocognitive factors as they relate to ED versus ADHD. The current study examined the cognitive profiles of a total of 58 children with ED versus ADHD, using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). Index scores that were examined included Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Working Memory, and Processing Speed. The groups were compared in order to determine overall group mean differences. Further analysis identified proportions of differences between the groups at the 10, 15, 20, and 25 point levels for the following Index level comparisons: VCIWMI, PRI-WMI, PRI-PSI, VCI-PSI, VCI-PRI, WMI-PSI. Results of the study found overall group mean differences between the groups for VCI. Further analysis of Index level comparisons indicated that children with ED demonstrated significance with VCI>WMI and VCI>PSI and PRI>WMI. Children with ADHD demonstrated significance with WMI>VCI, which is the opposite of prior research findings. Limitations of the current study and implications for future research are also discussed.