Executive Functioning Theory and ADHD

  • Kevin M. Antshel
  • Bridget O. Hier
  • Russell A. Barkley


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the current diagnostic label for individuals presenting with significant problems with attention and/or impulsiveness and hyperactivity. While the disorder has not always been called ADHD, the history of the clinical syndrome of inattention and overactivity dates back over 200 years. Across the last 200+ years, different aspects of the disorder (hyperkinesis, inattention, etc.) have been emphasized yet there has been an increasing recognition of the heterogeneity of the disorder. ADHD remains among the most common reasons that a child is referred for mental health treatment and is increasingly a common reason that adults are referred for treatment. Individuals with ADHD display considerable variation in the degree of symptoms, functional impairments from these symptoms, domains of impairment, age of diagnosis, response to treatment, and psychiatric comorbidity. While not currently a symptom of ADHD, there is evidence that executive functioning (EF) deficits may be a defining aspect of the disorder and even that its two symptom dimensions actually represent dimensions of EF. This chapter presents an overview of EF theory and ADHD.


Executive Functioning Executive Dysfunction Extended Phenotype Executive Functioning Deficit Executive Functioning Task 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. Antshel
    • 1
  • Bridget O. Hier
    • 2
  • Russell A. Barkley
    • 3
  1. 1.SUNY—Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Medical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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