Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Evaluations, performance, reliability, TBI, examination, exams, children
Children have been found to give non-credible performances on neuropsychological evaluations and using Performance Validity Tests (PVT) can help identify such cases, but maximum effort is necessary for tests to be reliable for determining next steps. This study assessed the differences in rates of non-credible performance on the Reliable Digit Span (RDS) between traumatic brain injury (TBI), learning disability (LD) and ADHD diagnoses in a pediatric clinical sample. It was hypothesized that those with ADHD would have a higher failure rate than those with either TBI or LD. RDS data from 200 clients referred to neuropsychological testing agencies were collected and scores were analyzed to determine mean differences and failure rates using a ≤ 6 cutoff score. Results showed a significant difference (p = 0.005) in RDS performance between those with a diagnosis of TBI or ADHD and between those with LD or ADHD (p = .003), with LD having a higher rate of failure than ADHD, and ADHD having a higher failure rate than TBI. The results indicate that rates of non-credible performance on RDS vary across diagnoses, which concurs with past literature, and emphasizes the importance of examining PVTs, like RDS, when conducting neuropsychological exams with children. Additional research is needed to clarify whether this finding persists with improved methodology (e.g., balanced sample sizes, clarified diagnoses, etc.).
West, Emily, "Neuropsychological Test Performance in Pediatric TBI, Learning Disability, and ADHD: Difference in Reliable Digit Span" (2017). Honors Theses. 257.