School of Education
Ara Schmitt, Jeffrey Miller
childhood, depression, executive function
A variety of cognitive deficits have been linked to depression. In particular, data exists to suggest that persons with depression are subject to poorer executive function compared to normal controls. Establishing the connection between depression and impaired executive function is particularly important in childhood as a child's daily functioning, including social interactions and academic performance, may be impacted. The purpose of this study was to explore if children with significant symptoms of depression displayed deficits on tasks designed to measure the executive functions of attentional control, information processing and cognitive flexibility (Anderson, 2002) compared to a clinical control group. A clinical sample of children referred for outpatient, neuropsychological evaluation was used in this investigation. Results revealed that the sample of children with elevated symptoms of depression did not demonstrate impaired, or worse executive function performance compared to clinical controls. Further investigations should examine executive function within the context of verified clinical depression, and with an expanded array of executive function measures, including ratings of executive function across settings.
Mangis, H. (2009). Examining the Association between Depressive Symptoms and Performance on Executive Function Measures in Children (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/868