Academic predictors of achievement in children with ADHD and clinical-referred comparisons

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Waldon, Jessica
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Mount Saint Vincent University
While previous studies have examined the relationship between the symptoms of ADHD and academic achievement, as well as cognitive ability and academic achievement, fewer studies have simultaneously examined the relative contribution of demographic, cognitive and behavioural factors to academic achievement. The current study examined the predictors of academic achievement in a large, rigorously diagnosed sample of clinical-referred school-age children. Participants in the study included 288 school-age children, between the ages of 6-12 years, referred to a regional ADHD Clinic that operates under a formal partnership between the local health authority and regional school board. The results of the present study indicated that a number of demographic, cognitive and behavioural factors were related to achievement; however, after controlling for known risk factors, the symptoms of ADHD did not predict academic performance. Overall, children with a diagnosed learning disability, regardless of comorbidity, were most academically impaired. Findings from the study hold important implications for the practice of school psychology and educational professionals involved in the identification of and intervention with students at risk for, or currently experiencing academic underachievement.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) , Academic achievement (school-aged children)