ISSN / EISSN : 0929-7049 / 1744-4136
Published by: Informa UK Limited (10.1080)
Total articles ≅ 1,112
Latest articles in this journal
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-31; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1945019
Self-limited epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (ECTS) is one of the most frequent focal epilepsies amongst children. Because remission usually occurs before 16 years old and patients present infrequent clinical manifestation, ECTS was considered benign for a long time. Despite the reports on cognitive deficits associated with ECTS in the last years, knowledge about the condition’s specific executive function domains (inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, and higher-order executive functions) is still lacking. The following systematic review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. The PubMed and Scopus databases and gray literature were searched according to the following eligibility criteria: (1) original articles published in peer-review journals; (2) studies that present assessment of children with ECTS; and (3) studies with an available assessment of the executive function of the participants. A total of 43 studies (1179 patients and 1086 healthy controls) met the inclusion criteria. Data from 19 studies were extracted, and meta-analysis methods were used to compare results in the three main executive function domains and verbal fluency. The study quality was measured through the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) and the evidence quality with the GRADEpro tool. Results and conclusions: The present systematic review is the first to gather information about executive functioning in children with ECTS. According to the meta-analyses, children with ECTS show weaker performances when compared with a control group in inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and verbal fluency. However, because the quality of evidence was classified as very low, caution is needed when interpreting the strength of the results.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-16; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1944615
Prospective memory, the ability to remember to perform an intended act in the future, is a complex process that involves several stages and cognitive domains. This study sought to investigate prospective memory functioning in children with idiopathic epilepsy using tasks from the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test for Children (RBMT-C) and the Memory for Intentions Screening Test for Youth (MISTY). Performances on prospective memory task characteristics of the MISTY (i.e., cue-type, length of time delay, and response type) were also compared between and across participant groups. Healthy children (N = 26) were found to have higher overall IQ and verbal IQ scores when compared to children with epilepsy (N = 19). Group differences in prospective memory functioning were found in subtests of the RBMT-C but not on the MISTY. Lastly, while there was no significant interaction effect between the groups and MISTY task characteristics, main effects were found across participant groups; all participants performed better on event-based tasks when compared to time-based tasks and on two-minute when compared to 10-minute time delays. Overall, findings suggest potential differences in cognitive functioning, particularly in IQ and prospective memory, in children with idiopathic epilepsy, though due to differences in findings across prospective memory tasks, further research is warranted to more definitively ascertain the extent, if any, of prospective memory deficits in children with epilepsy.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-1; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1950960
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-21; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1945567
Understanding how pediatric neuropsychological evaluations support families and the child’s medical team is an important component of ensuring evidence-based care. For the first time within a Canadian context, we investigated the impact of neuropsychological assessments on parent knowledge, advocacy, and stress and the role of socioeconomic factors in parents’ perceptions of the assessment. Responses from referring clinicians were also examined. As part of a hospital quality improvement project, 91 parents of children between the ages of 3 and 17 years (M = 8y7m; SD = 4y1m) and 45 clinician consumers (clinical staff who use neuropsychological services) completed one of two online questionnaires in English: Parent Overall Assessment of Supports and Testing, or Clinician Overall Assessment of Supports and Testing. Most parents indicated the neuropsychological evaluation promoted understanding of their child’s cognitive profile and improved their ability to support their child at home and at school or in the community. Families characterized as being at higher social risk indicated that the evaluation led to more changes in how they approached their child at home than families with lower social risk status. Referring clinicians indicated neuropsychological reports were effective in communicating findings to them and patients/families. The most valuable sections of the report according to referring clinicians included the diagnosis/impression and recommendations sections. Parents and referral providers reported many benefits from the neuropsychological evaluation but also identified areas for service delivery improvement. Parent perceptions varied based on family and socio environmental factors, offering important targets for future research and clinical consideration.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-13; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1938987
Speeded Matching (SpM) is a new processing speed match-to-sample test within the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery. It was designed to developmentally extend feasibility to younger children or individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). SpM reduces cognitive demands to tapping an identical match as opposed to judging and indicating whether two stimuli are identical. In this study, we piloted SpM among 148 participants with fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, or other intellectual disabilities (chronological age mean = 17.8 years, sd = 5.4; nonverbal mental age mean = 65 months, sd = 19.4). SpM had a high feasibility (96%) and internal consistency (rxx = 0.98). It converged well with other measures of processing speed, fluid cognition, and nonverbal mental age and diverged appropriately from crystallized cognitive skills. The correlation between nonverbal mental age and SpM in the IDD sample was not significantly different than the correlation between chronological age and SpM in a separate sample of 118 neurotypical children (age mean = 3.9 years sd = 0.8). This study provides initial evidence for the reliability and validity of the new SpM task, which may be appropriate as an outcome measure of processing speed for future clinical trials. It is more feasible than tasks designed for adults; it is brief, easy to administer, and engaging for young children and older individuals with lower mental ages associated with IDD.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-16; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1937975
The present study examined psychometric properties of a recently developed parent report screening questionnaire, i.e., Parent ADHD Screening questionnaire: Signaling the Core explanation underlying behavioral symptoms (PASSC). The PASSC aims to measure (1) ADHD symptoms and (2) what parents view to be the main underlying explanation(s) of these symptoms. The PASSC questions 3 (potential) underlying explanations based on the triple pathway model (TPM): i.e., time, cognition and/or motivation problems. Parents of 1166 Dutch children aged 4–12 filled in the PASSC, as well as 2 questionnaires measuring time, cognition and motivation (i.e., the FTF and the SPSRQ-C). Reliability of the PASSC is good, indicated by high internal consistency of the sumscores. Principal component analyses supported the distinction between inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms as defined in the DSM-5, and the distinction between the 3 TPM explanations given by parents for inattention, but not for hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. The majority of parents selected one and the same explanation for inattention problems of their child, most often being cognition (31.2%) and motivation (28.2%). PASSC validity was further supported by positive associations between the explanation sumscores for inattention symptoms and other parent questionnaires measuring the same constructs (i.e., time, cognition and motivation; convergent validity), although we found no evidence for discriminant validity. Groups (based on age group, sex and ADHD diagnosis) differed on the PASSC sumscores in the expected directions. Concluding, the PASSC is a promising tool to assess a child’s ADHD symptoms as well as the parent view on (potential) explanation(s) of inattention.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-11; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1936474
Objective: The Halstead Category Test (HCT) has been demonstrated to be sensitive to executive dysfunction in adults and children. Children with a history of significant prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) typically show deficits in executive functions in such areas as abstract reasoning, concept formation abilities, and cognitive flexibility. However, earlier research has not taken into account the demographic variables of age, sex, and ethnicity. Methods: Three groups of psychiatrically hospitalized children ages 9–17 years were included: Children with a history of PAE (n = 295); children with cognitive impairment but no suspected history of PAE (n = 201); and children without suspected cognitive impairment (n = 317). All children completed a series of neuropsychological tests including the HCT and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV). Results: Children with a history of PAE and cognitively impaired children with no history of PAE produced significantly more HCT errors across all ages than the cognitively unimpaired group. There were no significant effects of ethnicity or gender. Age and Working Memory Index were negatively correlated with HCT errors. Conclusion: The findings support the use of the HCT as a sensitive measure of executive functions in both PAE and non-PAE cognitively impaired children with no evidence of gender and ethnic bias. Use of the HCT is indicated in future research to measure improvement in executive functioning among children with a history of PAE facilitated by education, rehabilitation, and other forms of training and treatment.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-13; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1936475
The utilization of principal component analysis (PCA) approaches to concussion is beneficial to inform the interpretation of clinical outcome data in adolescent patients. While researchers have identified factors using post-concussive symptom scales and cognitive testing, there has yet to be a PCA that incorporates vestibular or oculomotor outcomes, or that focuses exclusively on adolescents. Moreover, the role of time since injury has not been examined in relation to concussion factors in this at-risk population. PCA methods were applied to two independent samples of 237 adolescents who presented to an outpatient concussion clinic: 1) ≤7 days (n = 145), and 2) 8 days-1 month (n = 92). The two separate PCAs included nine clinical assessments comprised of: a) four symptoms factors (cognitive/fatigue/migraine, affective, somatic, sleep), b) memory and speeded cognitive performance, c) near point of convergence (NPC), d) oculomotor, and e) vestibular outcomes. A three-component model including 1) symptoms, 2) cognitive, and 3) vestibular/oculomotor factors that accounted for 69.2% of the variance was supported for the ≤7 days sample. All items except somatic symptoms loaded. A different three-component model was supported for the 8 days-1 month sample, including 1) vestibulo-ocular migraine, 2) visuo-cognitive, and 3) affective-sleep that accounted for 72.1% of the variance, with all items loading. The findings supported two different concussion factor models that highlight the influence of time since injury and importance of considering vestibular and oculomotor outcomes in adolescents. Clinicians should evaluate these different factors using a comprehensive, multi domain approach to better inform assessment and monitor recovery in adolescent patients following concussion. Abbreviations: Principal Components Analysis (PCA), Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT), Post-concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS), Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS)
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-11; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1924651
Girls with Fragile-X-Syndrome (FXS) present high levels of social anxiety, social avoidance, extreme shyness, tendency to social isolation, poor eye contact, learning difficulties, and depression. The aims of the present study, which is based on a group of young females with FXS are: 1) to analyze the possible associations between emotion recognition, theory of mind, and social anxiety, and adaptive behavior, and emotional state; 2) to study the relationship between intelligence quotient (IQ) and adaptive behavior; and 3) to assess whether social anxiety is more prevalent in girls with FXS. The study has 40 female participants aged between 7 and 16 years (26 positive full mutation FXS and 14 as a control group). A neuropsychological assessment was conducted using the following tests: WISC-V, NEPSY-II, SENA, ADHD Rating Scale, BAS, and ABAS-II. In comparison with the control group, the group with FXS presented a greater association between IQ and self-direction ability, and between emotion recognition and leadership. The FXS group presented higher levels of social anxiety and shyness. In the group of girls with FXS, IQ may have prognostic value for both self-direction ability and social adaptation level.
Child Neuropsychology pp 1-16; doi:10.1080/09297049.2021.1919298
Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) are rarely measured in preschool children due to relative insensitivity of assessment methods at this age. To examine the potential of a nonverbal battery in early identification of cognitive problems in alcohol-exposed children, 291 prospectively identified Ukrainian children were evaluated using a test battery focusing on early executive functioning (EF) and visuospatial skills, areas of cognitive development particularly sensitive to PAE in older children. Tests included the Differential Ability Scales, 2nd Edition (DAS-2) and several NEPSY/NEPSY-II subtests, standardized in the United States. Others were adapted from commonly used non-standardized neuropsychological measures of EF (Preschool Spatial Span, Imitation Hand Game, A not B, Delayed Attention, Subject Ordered Pointing). Children in two sites in Ukraine, Rivne and Khmelnitsky, were tested at 3 ½-4 ½ years to identify effects of PAE. Although most children performed within the average range, Alcohol-Exposed preschoolers had lower scores on DAS-II Summary Scores as well as on specific subtests. To evaluate the effects of alcohol dose during the pre-pregnancy recognition period and during mid-gestation of pregnancy, generalized linear regression models were used controlling for demographic and individual variables. In addition to DAS-II variables, measures reflecting sustained attention, working memory and ability to shift cognitive set were impacted by alcohol dose. Early executive function appears to subsume these performance differences. In conclusion, findings indicate that the effects of PAE can be identified in the preschool period and reliably measured using tests assessing nonverbal and spatial skills supported by executive functioning.