Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience
Ongoing research regarding interventions for executive functions (EFs), the top-down cognitive processes that guide planning and decision-making behaviors, aims to determine whether intervention programs result in significant improvements in EFs for both neurotypical and neurodivergent populations (Diamond & Ling, 2016). EFs are critical because they predict performance in other daily living domains, including physical health, quality of life, and job performance (Cristofori et al., 2019; Diamond, 2013). Research has found that individuals with a variety of mental health disorders as well as neurodegenerative disease often perform poorly on EF tasks. Particular attention has been devoted to the study of EF deficits in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as many, but not all, individuals with this disorder display EF deficits (Weyandt, 2009). Cognitive training (i.e., EF interventions) has been suggested as a mechanism to help to improve EFs and other symptoms among individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Previous reviews suggest that some EF interventions are efficacious for individuals diagnosed with ADHD but have focused on a specific intervention modality or age group (Lambez et al., 2020; Liang et al., 2021; Poissant et al., 2019). The purpose of the current systematic review was to examine whether non-pharmacological interventions result in significant improvement in EFs for individuals with ADHD, and whether intervention efficacy differs with regard to: a) intervention modality, and b) age of participants. Results demonstrated that non-pharmacological interventions are efficacious for improving EFs in individuals with ADHD. Interventions were found to be efficacious across modalities and age groups, with small to large effect sizes.
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Thompson, Lauren, "EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING INTERVENTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH ADHD: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW" (2023). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1579.