Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Casey, Joseph

Keywords

Central Nervous System Stimulants, Handwriting, Kinematics, Motor Skills, Neuropsychology, Psychomotor Performance

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder of complex etiology that typically presents behaviourally with symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Among associated features, executive dysfunction, learning difficulties, and motor problems are common of the disorder. The present study involved two parts, where Part I sought to determine the optimal methodology to be used for Part II. Within the context of childhood ADHD, Part II of the study investigated 1) the effects of cognitive control on kinematic graphomotor fluency, 2) whether graphomotor fluency development is attenuated in children with ADHD, 3) which neuropsychological factors would best predict improvement in graphomotor fluency, and 4) the predictive ability of graphomotor improvement in identifying ADHD. Results indicated the following: 1) participants with and without ADHD demonstrated similar graphomotor fluency as cognitive control demands and figural complexity increased, 2) participants with ADHD evidenced attenuated procedural learning relative to controls when learning a novel grapheme, 3) the neuropsychological factors of verbal skills, processing speed, and fine motor skills were not predictive of improvement in graphomotor fluency, and 4) change in graphomotor fluency improvement did not demonstrate adequate ability to differentiate between those with and without ADHD. Implications, limitations, and additional considerations are discussed.

Share

COinS