Relationship Between Executive Functioning and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder in 6–8 Year Old Children

Rachel Jane Neely, Jessica Leigh Green, Emma Sciberras, Philip Hazell, Vicki Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined relationships between executive functioning (EF) and ADHD/ASD symptoms in 339 6–8 year-old children to characterise EF profiles associated with ADHD and ADHD + ASD. ADHD status was assessed using screening surveys and diagnostic interviews. ASD symptoms were measured using the Social Communication Questionnaire, and children completed assessments of EF. We found the EF profile of children with ADHD + ASD did not differ from ADHD-alone and that lower-order cognitive skills contributed significantly to EF. Dimensionally, ASD and inattention symptoms were differentially associated with EF, whereas hyperactivity symptoms were unrelated to EF. Differences between categorical and dimensional findings suggest it is important to use both diagnostic and symptom based approaches in clinical settings when assessing these children’s functional abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3270-3280
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Executive function

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