It has been suggested that children with ADDH have specific difficulties in sustained attention. Despite some early studies supporting this position, many recent reports using continuous performance tests (CPTs) have failed to confirm this hypothesis. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are outlined and an attempt to corroborate and extend an earlier study (Sykes, Douglas, & Morgenstern, 1973) was undertaken. CPT results in normal children indicated that changes in performance over time, although not affected by gender, were influenced by age. Data from ADDH subjects indicated that they performed significantly more poorly with time on task than did controls. These results suggest that the ability to sustain attention increases with age and does not vary by gender. Furthermore, difficultues in the ability to sustain attention can be demonstrated in children with ADDH. Finally, it is suggested that within-age-level comparisons between groups of ADDH and controls would be more clinically sensitive than across-age-group comparisons.
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