The relationship between cognition and mathematics in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A systematic review

Rita Kanevski, Josephine N Booth, Jessica Oldridge, Emily McDougal, Tracy M. Stewart, Sarah McGeown, Sinead M. Rhodes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cognitive processes play an imperative role in children’s mathematics learning. Difficulties in cognitive functioning are a core feature of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children, who also tend to show lower levels of mathematics attainment than their typically developing peers. This review (registration number: CRD42020169708) sought to aggregate findings from studies assessing the relationship between cognition and mathematics in children with a clinical ADHD diagnosis aged 4-12 years. A total of 11799 studies published between 1992 to August 2020 were screened for eligibility using various database (PsycINFO, PubMed, SCOPUS, EMBASE, ERIC, Web of Science, and additional sources), from which four studies met inclusion criteria. A narrative synthesis was conducted on the correlations between mathematics and cognitive domains, including an evaluation of risk of bias within the studies. Across four studies meeting inclusion criteria, memory, inhibitory control, and processing speed were assessed. The results showed a positive association between cognition and mathematics performance in this population. The strength of associations across these studies varied as a function of the cognitive domain in question, means by which mathematics performance was assessed, as well as whether confounding factors such as age and IQ were controlled for. Collectively, this review demonstrates a lack of research in this area and points to various methodological considerations for identifying the association between cognition and mathematics performance in ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Neuropsychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • mathematics
  • cognition
  • memory
  • executive functions

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