Using data from a clinically referred sample, we examined the role of sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) as it relates to internalizing disorders, somatic problems, stress, and processing speed among children evaluated in an outpatient setting. Parent ratings on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and performance on the child Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Processing Speed Index (WISC-V PSI) scores were obtained from 122 pediatric patients (81 boys and 41 girls) between 6:1 and 16:9 years old. Forty to 49% of children were rated as having clinically significant symptoms of SCT, based on fathers’ and mothers’ ratings, respectively. Analysis indicated that children rated as exhibiting SCT by mothers were also rated as having clinically significant problems with internalizing symptoms, somatic problems, stress problems, and processing speed difficulties. Like analysis of mothers’ CBCL ratings, analysis of fathers’ CBCL ratings indicated children exhibiting SCT had clinically significant problems with internalizing symptoms, somatic problems, and stress problems. Unlike analysis of mothers’ results, fathers’ ratings of SCT were not significantly correlated to children’s processing speed scores. Importantly, this study extends understanding of how SCT is related to somatic problems and stress problems while confirming past findings regarding the link between SCT and internalizing problems and, more generally, processing speed. Implications for research, diagnosis, and treatment are discussed.
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Callan, P.D., Shepler, D.K., Justice, M.D. et al. Correlates of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Among Clinic-Referred Youth: Expanding Awareness of Somatic Symptoms and Stress in the Clinical Picture. J Pediatr Neuropsychol 6, 143–158 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40817-020-00083-6
- Sluggish cognitive tempo
- Internalizing disorders
- Processing speed
- Somatic problems