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Mind-wandering in children with and without ADHD
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2019 (English)In: British Journal of Clinical Psychology, ISSN 0144-6657, E-ISSN 2044-8260, Vol. n/a, no n/aArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives Mind-wandering (MW) is a commonly experienced phenomenon, characterized by focus of attention drifting away from the present situation to intrinsically originated thoughts. Studies in adults show that MW is related to ADHD symptoms, but this association is understudied in children. We set out to investigate the associations of MW in children with and without ADHD and to simultaneously validate the self-report Mind Excessively Wandering Scale (MEWS) in children. Design We used a cross-sectional, correlational, design to examine the research questions. Methods The sample consisted of 82 children (61 boys) aged 8?13 years (m = 10.46), of which 35 had a diagnosis of ADHD. Children rated MW; parents and teachers rated ADHD symptoms, emotion regulation and academic achievement. Working memory was assessed with Digit Span. Results MW was positively related to ADHD symptoms, and the MEWS could differentiate between cases and controls with a sensitivity of 0.71 and specificity of 0.81. Psychometric properties of the MEWS were satisfactory. In addition, MW contributed independently to working memory (R2? = .05, p = .01) and emotion regulation (R2? = .04, p = .04) beyond ADHD symptoms. Conclusions MW is elevated in children with ADHD and contributes to functional domains. The MEWS is a valid tool for assessing MW in children, and the results are mostly comparable to that of adults (Mowlem et al., 2016, Journal of Attention Disorders, 23, 624), suggesting a similar relationship of MW to ADHD across the lifespan. Practitioner points Spontaneous mind-wandering is elevated in children with ADHD compared to children without a diagnosis. Elevated spontaneous mind-wandering predicts lower working memory, emotion regulation and academic achievement beyond ADHD symptoms, IQ and socio-economic status. Clinicians should consider evaluating excessive spontaneous mind-wandering and targeting it as an important outcome when treating children with ADHD. The MEWS is a valid tool for assessing excessive mind-wandering in children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111) , 2019. Vol. n/a, no n/a
Keywords [en]
mind-wandering, ADHD, childhood, Impairment
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401218DOI: 10.1111/bjc.12241OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401218DiVA, id: diva2:1383040
Conference
2020/01/07
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-07

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12241

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Frick, Matilda A.Brocki, Karin C.
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