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Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults With ADHD

by Thomas E. Brown, Philipp C. Reichel, Donald M. Quinlan, Yale University School of Medicine

Journal of Attention Disorders Online First, published on May 6, 2009 as doi:10.1177/1087054708326113


To demonstrate that high IQ adults diagnosed with ADHD suffer from executive function (EF) impairments that: a) can be identified with a combination of standardized measures and self-report data; and b) occur more commonly in this group than in the general population. Method: 157 ADHD adults with IQ ≥ 120 were assessed with 8 normed measures of EF– 3 index scores from standardized tests of memory and cognitive abilities, and 5 subscales of a normed self report measure of EF impairments in daily life. Results: 73% of subjects were significantly impaired on ≥ 5 of these 8 EF markers. On all 8 measures, incidence of these impairments was significantly greater than in the general population.


High IQ adults with ADHD tend to suffer EF impairments that can be assessed with these measures; incidence of such impairments in this group is significantly higher than in the general population.

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