METACOGNITION IN ATTENTION DEFICIT AND HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD) AND ITS LINK WITH EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING
Metacognition relates to the consciousness we have about our own thinking processes and to the ability to have control of those processes. A dynamic aspect of metacognition is self-regulation. This relates to experience, feelings, and thoughts that occur during an ongoing cognitive activity (Flavell, 1979; Weinert &Kluwe, 1987). Those experiences give individuals an internal feedback about the efficiency of their mental monitoring. In some circumstances, adults, and to a lesser extent children, are able to consciously use rules and strategies to solve a problem. On the other hand, individuals with Attentional Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) show an inability to "stop and think" before acting, regardless of the task or the situation. In this paper, we assume that children with ADHD may experience difficulty engaging in a reflexive activity such as metacognition. A Control group (n=30, mean age = 8.8) and a ADHD group (n= 17, mean age = 9) were administered a metacognitive task involving metacomprehension (Perception of Lack of Information: PLI). For the ADHD group, results from ANOVA indicate a significant difference in metacomprehension between the younger and the older subjects. There is not such a difference in the Control group between the younger and the older subjects. Difference in metacomprehension performance between ADHD and Control groups are interpreted in terms of "developmental delay" for the children with ADHD rather than in terms of a "deficit".
Keywords: metacognition, children, ADHD, neuropsychology, executive function