Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Marie-Christine Goodworth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Glena Andrews, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Celeste Jones, Ph.D.


Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders diagnosed in children (Feldman & Reiff, 2014). ADHD is known to impact a child’s working memory, with deficits ranging from mild to severe (Bedard et al., 2014). Research has explored the performance of working memory in children with ADHD and individual co-occurring disorders, finding that internalizing disorders such as depression and anxiety, both independently negatively impact working memory performance (Kofler et al., 2011; Saarinen et al., 2015; Skogan et al., 2013). However, there is limited research on how multiple co-occurring diagnoses in children with ADHD impact working memory. More specifically, research is limited on depression and anxiety, which are also common in children with ADHD. Depression itself has a significant impact on a child’s executive functioning skills. When depression is present, parts of the prefrontal cortex regions are hypoactive and therefore lead to impairment in executive functioning abilities (Snyder, 2013). In regard to anxiety, previous literature (Moran, 2016) has found that anxious arousal competes with processes located in the prefrontal cortex leaving limited neural resources for executive functioning skills (Moran, 2016). Since working memory plays a significant role in holding short term information, concentration, and following through with instructions, deficits in working memory often impact reading and mathematical abilities in children at school. The current study will evaluate the influences of depression and anxiety on working memory in children with ADHD.

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