Department of Psychology
Master of Arts
What is known as Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) today has been known by other titles in the past such as minimal brain dysfunction and Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood. These label changes represented the change in knowledge and understanding of the disorder over time. Today, it is thought that a main component to the disorder is an attention deficit. The problem is that of yet, the cause of this deficit has not been identified. In an attempt to further understand this disorder, visual attention studies are being conducted. Following this lead, the Visual Attention Analyzer was used to investigate a link between ADHD and visual attention. As the UFOV™ had never been used as a measure of visual attention in children, two studies were performed. The first study was to establish the UFOV™ Visual Attention Analyzer as a reliable measure of visual attention in children. It was found using the test-retest method that the UFOV™ is a test of moderate reliability for six and seven year olds. As there was little variability in the eight to fifteen year olds' performance, the Pearson correlation coefficient was truncated, producing a low reliability score. When the discrepancy in pre and post composite scores were examined, in this regard, it was found that the UFOV™ was actually a more reliable measure for the older children than the younger children. With the question concerning the reliability of the UFOV™ as a measure of visual attention in children answered, the second study addressed primarily whether there was a difference between children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) characteristics and normal childrens' performance of the UFOV™ tasks. Based on the most stringent definition of ADHD used in the study, the UFOV™ did not discriminate between the seven year old children with ADHD characteristics and normal children. It did discriminate between the eight through twelve year old children with ADHD characteristics and normal children.
Cissell, Gayla, "An Investigation of Visual Attention in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (1994). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 935.