Similar Subgroups Based on Cognitive Performance Parse Heterogeneity in Adults With ADHD and Healthy Controls

Jeanette C. Mostert, Martine Hoogman*, A. Marten H. Onnink, Daan van Rooij, Daniel von Rhein, Kimm J.E. van Hulzen, Janneke Dammers, Cornelis C. Kan, Jan K. Buitelaar, David G. Norris, Barbara Franke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To characterize heterogeneity in adults with ADHD we aimed to identify subgroups within the adult ADHD spectrum, which differ in their cognitive profile. Method: Neuropsychological data from adults with ADHD (n = 133) and healthy control participants (n = 132) were used in a confirmatory factor analysis. The resulting six cognitive factors were correlated across participants to form networks. We used a community detection algorithm to cluster these networks into subgroups. Results: Both the ADHD and control group separated into three profiles that differed in cognitive performance. Profile 1 was characterized by aberrant attention and inhibition, profile 2 by increased delay discounting, and profile 3 by atypical working memory and verbal fluency. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that qualitative differences in neuropsychological performance exist in both control and ADHD adult individuals. This extends prior findings in children with and without ADHD and provides a framework to parse participants into well-defined subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • adult ADHD
  • delay discounting
  • executive functions
  • heterogeneity
  • neuropsychology


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