The relation between mood and executive functioning in children and adolescents has not been previously reported. This study examined the association between self-reported depressive symptoms in both clinical outpatient and psychiatric inpatient samples to the following measures of executive functioning: the Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Animal Naming, Trail Making Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Records from children and adolescents aged 7-17 years old with an IQ > 70 were examined. Data were gathered at either an outpatient neuropsychology clinic (n = 89) or an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting (n = 81). Mood was measured with the Children's Depression Inventory. Generally, statistical associations between self-reported depressive symptoms and executive functioning were small and non-significant. The variance predicted by mood on measures of executive functioning was minimal (generally less than 2 %) for the total sample, the outpatient group, inpatient group, and a subgroup who endorsed elevated mood symptoms. These results suggest that impaired performance on measures of executive functioning in children and adolescents is minimally related to self-reported depressive symptoms.
- Cognitive ability
- Executive functioning
- Neuropsychological assessment