Original Research

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and behavioural planning deficiencies in South African primary school children

Tshikani T. Boshomane, Basil J. Pillay, Anneke Meyer
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 26 | a1411 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v26i0.1411 | © 2020 Tshikani T. Boshomane, Basil J. Pillay, Anneke Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 May 2019 | Published: 22 October 2020

About the author(s)

Tshikani T. Boshomane, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Basil J. Pillay, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Anneke Meyer, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined as a cognitive or behavioural developmental disorder. Inattentiveness, overactivity and impulsivity are regarded as the main clinical symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may occur together or separately resulting in three recognised presentations: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive–impulsive and combined presentations.

Aim: This study investigated deficiencies in behavioural planning in South African primary school children with and without ADHD.

Setting: Tzaneen area in Limpopo province, South Africa.

Methods: A total of 156 children (78 with ADHD and 78 matched controls without ADHD) of both genders, who were medication naïve and aged 6–15 years, participated in the study. The performance of the two groups was compared on a test of planning and problem-solving, the Tower of London (ToL) task. The results were analysed as a function of gender, age and ADHD presentation.

Results: Children with ADHD especially ADHD-PI and ADHD-C used significantly more moves and took a longer time to complete the task than the controls (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the number of moves and time taken by the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentations of ADHD when compared to the controls. Gender and age did not influence the performance.

Conclusion: The results showed that children with ADHD showed significantly more deficits mainly the ADHD-PI and ADHD-C presentations, which indicates that inattention is mainly responsible for deficiencies in behaviour planning. The ADHD-HI presentations and the control group were not affected.


Keywords

attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; behavioural planning; developmental disorder; primary school children; hyperactive

Metrics

Total abstract views: 984
Total article views: 1532

 

Crossref Citations

1. Animal models of attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Vikrant Rahi, Puneet Kumar
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience  vol: 81  issue: 2  first page: 107  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1002/jdn.10089