Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder in childhood which can have a significant impact upon many facets of a child’s life. The ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive (ADHD-PI) and ADHD-Combined (ADHD-C) subtypes share clinically significant problems of inattention, but differ from one another in the presence of clinically significant levels of hyperactivity-impulsivity for the latter subtype. Important differences between the ADHD-PI and ADHD-C subtypes have emerged in the ADHD literature pertaining to demographic and family characteristics, and psychosocial functioning. In addition, some theoretical conceptualisations of ADHD (e.g., Barkley, 1997; Sonuga-Barke, 2002) have distinguished between the subtypes, with Milich, Balentine, and Lynam’s (2001) having further asserted that the ADHD-PI and ADHD-C are distinct and unrelated disorders.
In the school context, children with either ADHD subtype have been found to display marked problems with their learning. Studies that have investigated the nature of the fundamental building blocks of learning-attention and memory-in ADHD have found mixed results pertaining to differences between the subtypes. At present, consensus has not been reached in the literature regarding the precise nature of attention and memory deficits for the ADHD-PI versus the ADHD-C subtypes.
The current study examined the nature of and differences in attention and memory between ADHD-PI, ADHD-C and Control groups. Differences in psychosocial functioning between groups were also explored as such functioning can have some impact upon a child’s learning at school. Twenty boys with ADHD-PI were matched on age, intelligence, and current medication status with 20 boys with ADHD-C and 20 control children. <....>