Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 625–638 | Cite as

Performance and Private Speech of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder While Taking the Tower of Hanoi Test: Effects of Depth of Search, Diagnostic Subtype, and Methylphenidate

  • Helena Kopecky
  • H. Theresa Chang
  • Rafael Klorman
  • Joan E. Thatcher
  • Agneta D. Borgstedt


We administered the Tower of Hanoi to demographically comparable samples of control participants (n = 34) and children with the Combined (n = 22) and Inattentive subtypes (n = 19) of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Controls excelled over children with the Inattentive subtype, who outperformed patients with the Combined subtype. These results replicated findings of greater executive deficits in the Combined than in the Inattentive type of ADHD. Double-blind administration of methylphenidate improved task performance only for patients with the Inattentive subtype. In a drug-free Baseline session, children with both subtypes of ADHD made more private verbalizations than controls, particularly when failing puzzles. In later sessions, regardless of drug condition, the inattentive sample exhibited a smaller increase in self-regulatory utterances under failure. In contrast, the combined sample decreased self-regulatory verbalizations under failure only under methylphenidate. The results support some differences between the two subtypes of ADHD in executive functioning and in their response to stimulant therapy.

Key Words

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder subtypes executive functions private speech methylphenidate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Kopecky
    • 1
  • H. Theresa Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rafael Klorman
    • 1
  • Joan E. Thatcher
    • 1
  • Agneta D. Borgstedt
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochester
  2. 2.Currently at Carle Clinic AssociationUrbana-Champaign
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of RochesterRochester

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