Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Attention and Executive Functions in Adolescents with Spina Bifida.

BM, Holmbeck GN.
Attention and Executive Functions in Adolescents with Spina Bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2007 Jun 7

OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to examine attention processes and executive functioning in adolescents with spina bifida, and to explore whether impairment in these domains contributes to problems with social adjustment.

METHODS: A sample of adolescents with spina bifida (n = 68) and a matched comparison group (n = 68) and their families were followed longitudinally. All participants completed questionnaires, and the adolescent participants underwent neurocognitive testing.

RESULTS: The spina bifida sample showed greater impairment on objective and subjective measures of attention and executive functioning, even when differences in intellectual functioning were controlled. Additionally, attention and executive deficits were found to be predictive of social adjustment difficulties. A mediational analysis suggested the neurocognitive deficits mediate associations between spina bifida status and social adjustment difficulties.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with spina bifida appear to exhibit clear impairment in attention and executive functioning and this impairment may contribute to their well-established social difficulties.

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