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    Executive function profiles of preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: a systematic review

    Christoforou, M. and Jones, Emily J.H. and White, P. and Charman, T. (2023) Executive function profiles of preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: a systematic review. JCPP Advances , ISSN 2692-9384.

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    Abstract

    Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are both associated with differences in Executive Functioning (EF). There is lack of clarity around the specificity or overlap of EF differences in early childhood when both disorders are first emerging. Method: This systematic review aims to delineate preschool EF profiles by examining studies comparing the EF profiles of children with and without ASD or ADHD. Five electronic databases were systematically searched (last search in May 2022) to identify published, quantitative studies of global and specific EF (Inhibition, Shifting, Working Memory, Planning and Attentional Control), comparing children aged 2-6 with a diagnosis of ASD or ADHD to peers without ASD or ADHD. Results: Thirty-one empirical studies (10 ADHD and 21 ASD studies) met criteria for inclusion. EF profiles in preschool ASD were characterised by consistent Shifting, and, in most cases, Inhibition impairments. ADHD studies consistently reported impairments in Inhibition and Planning, and in most cases Working Memory. Findings with regards to sustained Attention and Shifting in ADHD and Working Memory and Planning in ASD were mixed. Conclusions: Overall, current evidence indicates overlap but also some specificity in EF impairments in preschool ASD and ADHD. There were differences in the degree to which individual domains were impaired, with Shifting more consistently impaired in ASD, and Inhibition, Working Memory and Planning in ADHD. Methodological issues and differences in methods of outcome measurement could potentially underlie mixed findings, as informant-based measures revealed more robust EF impairments than laboratory-based tasks.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Executive function, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Preschool
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Emily Jones
    Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2023 13:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:18
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/49604

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