The Relationship Between Impaired Executive Functioning and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Adolescents
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The performance of 30 adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) was compared with that of 35 normal controls on a variety of neuropsychological tests sensitive to impaired executive functioning and emotional processing. Subjects were evaluated using the following measures: Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Stroop Color Word Test, Go-No-Go Test, Design Fluency Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Facial Recognition Test, Auditory Affect Recognition, Facial Emotion Identification. The hypotheses that ODD subjects would perform more poorly on tests of general executive functioning and on tests of emotional processing was only partially supported. ODD subjects did exhibit greater difficulty on the Facial Emotion Identification task, committed more perseverative errors and generated more unacceptable designs on the Design Fluency Test while producing more novel designs overall than control subjects. No significant differences between groups was found on any of the other dependent variables. Misidentification of facial emotions and response inhibition problems appear to play a role in differentiating ODD adolescents from normal control subjects.