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ADHD and Executive Function

The 5 cognitive abilities that are impaired in ADHD

Clinical Expert: Russell A. Barkley, PhD

en Español

Russell Barkley, PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, is a leading expert on ADHD and the editor of the bimonthly ADHD Report. To learn more about Dr. Barkley and ADHD go to

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ADHD affect executive functioning?

Yes, ADHD affects executive functioning because ADHD is essentially an executive functioning disorder. ADHD impairs a child’s ability to plan, think ahead, self-regulate, learn, follow steps to complete a task, and other skills which are part of executive functioning.

How is executive function related to ADHD?

Executive function refers to the cognitive skills people need to plan, organize, manage time, and actively pursue goals. These skills are impaired in kids with ADHD.

This article was last reviewed or updated on March 8, 2024.