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Executive functions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Katarina Leskovar (2014) Executive functions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Diploma thesis.

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    The field of executive functions comprises the operation of numerous intra-connected processes. The majority of them starts developing in the early period, however, they are most prominent in the school period, during which the activities become more complex, and during the tasks’ execution in the adult period. They affect our entire performance and its success. With persons with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) it is typical that their executive functions are less developed, consequently such individuals are not as successful as they could have been. Self-regulation includes both cognitive and metacognitive processes. It means the management of one's behaviour, emotions, motivation… Its development begins in the early period, but it does not develop equally in all people. It has been defined by several authors who represent different theories but only Barkley's and Zimmerman's theories are summarised in this part. Metacognition is considered a self-regulative process. It has been identified as a metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experience, metacognitive skills and strategies and metacognitive objective by Flavell (1979, in Bakračevič Vukman, 2010). The metacognitive sections include the strategies of planning, regulation and monitoring. Metacognition also develops in the early period, therefore we need to help individuals in developing it with different strategies. Authors like Barkley, Brown, Dawson & Guare and others have written about executive functions. Their definitions differ, nevertheless, they have many mutual points like self-regulation of emotions and motivation, working memory and inhibition of reaction. Our brain is a complex set of nerve cells, constantly connecting and thus carrying information, orders from one another. The frontal lobe has a special role in the development of executive functions, it is responsible for higher recognition processes, like thinking, which include planning, execution and the evaluation of tasks. Furthermore it affects the motoric execution of more advance and more complex tasks. Baddeley (2000, in Henry, 2012) presents two models of working memory. He has upgraded the original model by adding an episodic buffer. Other components of the working memory include the central implementation system and the system for temporary storage, divided into the phonological loop and the visual-spatial sketch. Before attempting to plan strategies to help develop the executive functions in people with ADHD, we need to be familiar with some general, psychological and developmental characteristics of the disorder. Furthermore we need to have good knowledge of the before mentioned theoretical basics. Only then we can establish relevant forms of assistance or strategies, which may be useful to a specific individual.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: self-regulation, metacognition, executive functions, brain, frontal lobe, working memory, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
    Number of Pages: 33
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Simona TancigMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10147145)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2328
    Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2014 11:37
    Last Modified: 27 Aug 2014 11:37
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2328

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