Date of Graduation

Fall 2010


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

David Lutz


attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior, cognitive ability, assessment, inattention

Subject Categories



Using executive function tasks to identify those children with and without disruptive behavior, and specifically ADHD, has been shown to be an effective screener. This study aimed to identify characteristics in young children's ability level profiles that may provide an early indication of being at-risk for disruptive behavior, utilizing ability level measurements which included tasks that require typically developed executive functioning. Fifty-three kindergarten-aged children who were administered a Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition (WPPSI-III) or Wechsler Nonverbal Scale of Ability (WNV) during their preschool year were evaluated utilizing the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale-Revised:Short (CTRS-R:S) for a comparison of ability profiles and disruptive behaviors. Bivariate correlations identified a significant inverse relationship between Full Scale IQ scores on the WPPSI-III and WNV and the Cognitive Problems/Inattention Index on the CTRS-R:S. Additionally, a significant negative relationship was observed between the Performance IQ on the WPPSI-III and the Cognitive Problems/Inattention Index on the CTRS-R:S. Finally, a significant inverse relationship was found between the Full Scale IQ on the WNV and the general ADHD Index. This suggests that in this younger sample, the relationship between cognitive ability and psychological characteristics is present for inattention but not for more behavioral components, such as hyperactivity.


© Stephen Edward Ryan

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