Executive functioning characteristics associated with ADHD comorbidity in adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders

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The nature of executive dysfunction in youth with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) remains unclear, despite extensive research in samples of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To determine the relationship between DBD, ADHD, and executive function deficits in aggressive teens, adolescents with DBD and comorbid ADHD (DBD+ADHD; n=25), DBD without ADHD (DBD-ADHD; n=23), and healthy controls (HC; n=25) were compared on neurocognitive tests and questionnaires measuring executive functioning. Teens with DBD+ADHD performed worse on both neurocognitive and questionnaire measures of executive function than the DBD-ADHD and HC groups. Results suggest that subgroups of DBD may exist depending on the presence or absence of comorbid ADHD, which may have implications for the selection and efficacy of treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011



  • Aggression
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct disorder
  • Executive function
  • Oppositional-defiant disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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