Age-Related Changes in Distractibility: Developmental Trajectory of Sustained Attention in ADHD

Ortal Slobodin, Hanoch Cassuto, Itai Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: This study investigated age-related changes in sustained attention in children with ADHD and in their typically developed peers. Method: The study used a Continuous Performance Test (CPT) that includes visual and auditory stimuli serving as distractors. The rate of omission errors was used as a measurement of difficulty in sustained attention. Participants were children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years (478 with ADHD and 361 without ADHD). Results: Both groups of adolescents (with and without ADHD) showed reduced distractibility than younger children from the same group. However, distractibility tended to diminish in non-ADHD adolescents, but not in adolescents with ADHD. Conclusion: Although part of the difficulties in ADHD could be explained by developmental delay that improves with time, other deficits, such as increased distractibility causing more omission errors, do not show a clear developmental trajectory. The results suggest that deficits in inhibitory control might be the core of ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1343
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • CPT
  • adolescents
  • age
  • assessment
  • development
  • distractibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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