Self-Awareness of Executive Functioning Deficits in Adolescents With ADHD

Kayla A. Steward, Alexander Tan, Lauren Delgaty, Mitzi M. Gonzales, Melissa Bunner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: Children with ADHD lack self-awareness of their social and academic deficits, frequently rating themselves more favorably than external sources. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether adolescents with ADHD also hold a positive bias toward their executive functioning (EF). Method: Participants include 22 control and 35 ADHD subjects, aged 11 to 16. Participants and their parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF) Self and Parent forms, respectively. Discrepancy scores were calculated for each domain by subtracting the adolescents’ T-score from the parents’ T-score. Results: Discrepancy scores were significantly higher in the ADHD group than controls within the Inhibit, Shift, Monitor, Emotional Control, Working Memory, and Plan/Organization domains (all p <.05). Conclusion: As compared with controls, adolescents with ADHD tend to endorse fewer EF difficulties than what parents report. This is the first study to demonstrate that those with ADHD may overestimate their EF ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-322
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent ADHD
  • executive function
  • self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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