Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenter: Simran Kukreja
Mentor: Susanne Jaeggi
Title: Gender Differences in Inhibitory Control among Children with ADHD
This study examines gender differences in inhibitory control among children with ADHD. Inhibitory control is an executive function for filtering task-relevant information. Patients with ADHD present with low levels of inhibitory control, which lead to issues in communication and behavior. Previous work suggests that typically developing women outperform men on measures of inhibitory control; so I hypothesized that, among children with ADHD, girls would demonstrate higher inhibitory control than boys. Thirty-seven typically developing (TD) children (45.9% female, 54.1% male) and twenty-five children with ADHD (32.0% female, 68.0% male) were recruited, and their inhibitory control was assessed by measuring errors of commission (where distractor stimuli are incorrectly marked) on the D2 test of attention and CPT (continuous performance task). Among both TD and ADHD groups, results revealed no significant differences between males and females on either test of inhibitory control (p >> 0.05). This study adds to the developing literature on gender differences in ADHD in that these findings suggest that we have insufficient evidence to claim that one gender can better inhibit their motor responses to presented stimuli, implying parallel effectiveness of diagnostic criteria regarding inhibitory control. Additional recruitment of female participants, particularly those with ADHD, is needed to extrapolate results.