The Impact of Psychostimulants on the Executive Capacities of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP
George McCloskey, PhD
Virginia Salzer, PhD
Grace Ashton, PhD
The current study compared executive-skill and executive-function deficits resulting from teacher ratings of two clinical groups of students diagnosed with ADHD (ADHD-Med, ADHD-NoMed) with ratings of demographically- matched control groups. In addition, teacher ratings of the ADHD-Med group and the ADHD-NoMed group were compared. The data for both clinical groups and their respective matched control groups were part of the data collected during the standardization of the McCloskey Executive Function Scale – Teacher Report (MEFS-TR). Analyses examined teacher responses to all of the items of the seven Self-Regulation, the Self-Realization, and the Self-Determination Clusters of the MEFS. Congruent with the hypothesis of this study, both clinical groups demonstrated a higher degree of executive dysfunction than that of matched nonclinical groups, particularly within the Academic Arena. Additionally, the ADHD-NoMed group was rated with more deficits than the ADHD-Med group across most self-regulation clusters. Consistent with the hypothesis, a large proportion of deficit ratings for the clinical groups occurred with the Focus, Sustain, Inhibit, and Modulate executive capacities. Multiple other executive capacities were also rated as deficient for both clinical groups within the Engagement, Optimization, Inquiry and Solution Clusters. Overall, the study supported the notion that students diagnosed with ADHD who receive pharmaceutical intervention are most likely to be rated as having executive-function deficits reflecting a lack of knowing when to activate an executive capacity within the Academic Arena and sometimes within the Self/Social Arena, whereas students diagnosed with ADHD who do not receive pharmaceutical intervention are most likely to be rated as having executive-skill deficits and executive-function deficits reflecting a lack of knowing how and when to activate an executive capacity within the Academic Arena, and also frequently within the Self/Social Arena.
McMahon, Theresa C., "The Impact of Psychostimulants on the Executive Capacities of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (2019). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 477.