Gender differences in adult ADHD: Cognitive function assessed by the test of attentional performance

Tina Stibbe, Jue Huang, Madlen Paucke, Christine Ulke, Maria Strauss, Celestino Rodríguez
2020 PLoS ONE  
The aim of this study was to assess cognitive differences between male and female adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Patients with an ADHD diagnosis according to the DSM-IV guidelines were included in a cross-sectional study evaluating cognitive measures. 28 women and 41 men from ages 19 to 56 completed self-report questionnaires and performed a computer-based test of attentional performance (TAP). The TAP assesses cognitive functions highly affected in ADHD patients,
more » ... in ADHD patients, including working memory, alertness and attention as well as behavioral control and response inhibition. There were no measurable differences in self-report scales assessing current symptomology between the sexes, however men scored higher on the scale for childhood symptoms. Performance measures for general wakefulness were comparable between men and women, while working memory and behavioral control test results differed. Females reacted significantly slower and more unstable for both the TAP Go/NoGo paradigm and working memory subtest, while also making more errors in the latter. We found gender-specific effects regarding working memory and behavioral control in this sample of adult patients with ADHD. Further studies are warranted, examining whether these differences relate to differences in clinical presentation and comorbidity patterns between men and women.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0240810 pmid:33057383 fatcat:fluwwbmugvegfk3e4r532judiq