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Neuropsychological Profile, Emotional/Behavioral Problems, and Parental Stress in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Authors: Operto, Francesca Felicia; Smirni, Daniela; Scuoppo, Chiara; Padovano, Chiara; Vivenzio, Valentina; Quatrosi, Giuseppe; Carotenuto, Marco; Precenzano, Francesco; Pastorino, Grazia Maria Giovanna
  • Publication year: 2021
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Background: The aim of our study was to trace a specific neuropsychological profile, to investigate emotional-behavioral problems and parental stress in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1/High functioning (ASD-HF), Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) disorders and to highlight similarities and differences among the three groups. Methods: We retrospectively collected the data from a total of 62 subjects with ASD-HF (n = 19) ADHD (n = 21), SLD (n = 22) and 20 typical development. All the participants underwent neuropsychological standardized test for the evaluation of cognitive profile (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fourth Edition—WISC-IV), behavioral and emotional problems (Child Behavior CheckList CBCL), and parental stress (Parental Stress Index Short Form—PSI-SF). The scores of the ASD-HF, ADHD, and SLD groups were compared using non-parametric statistic methods (Kruskall–Wallis H test and U Mann–Whitney for post-hoc analysis). Results: The ASD-HF group were significantly higher in all areas of the WISC-IV than the other two clinical groups. The SLD group performed significantly lower than ASD-HF in Working Memory Index. The SLD group showed lower scores on the somatic problems subscale than the other two groups. In the Difficult Child subscale of the PSI-SF, parents of ADHD children scored lower than the mothers of SLD subjects and higher than the fathers of SLD subjects. In all three groups there are specific deficiencies compared to the control group in the cognitive profile, behavioral and emotional problems, and parental stress. Conclusions: Our comparative analysis highlighted similarities and differences in three groups of children with different neurodevelopmental disorders, helping to better define cognitive, behavioral, and emotional characteristics of these children and parental stress of their parents.