Year

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Psychology

Abstract

This thesis examined the electroencephalography (EEG) activity of girls and women with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). An eyes-closed resting condition was used in all five experimental studies. Absolute and relative power estimates were calculated in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta bands in all studies. Gamma power and the theta/beta ratio were included in some studies. The thesis began with a published review of EEG-AD/HD literature that highlighted the substantial lack of information on females and sex differences. The first three experimental chapters explored EEG differences between the Combined and Inattentive types of AD/HD within girls, aged 7-12 years. Chapter 3 focussed particularly on EEG sex differences within these AD/HD types, and Chapters 4 and 5 explored EEG differences within exclusive female subject groups. Results from these studies indicate that the EEG activity is large homogenous within girls with AD/HD, regardless of diagnosed type. Chapter 6 found that girls with AD/HD are hypoaroused, characterised by significantly reduced skin conductance levels (SCL), relative to controls. Absolute and relative gamma was also significantly reduced among girls with AD/HD. The final experimental chapter examined sex differences in the EEG activity of adults with AD/HD who had a previous childhood diagnosis of the disorder. This is the first study to recruit adult AD/HD subjects based on DSM-5 adult AD/HD criteria and the first to incorporate single-sex adult subject groups. Results indicate that there are significant sex differences in relative theta and the theta/beta ratio between men and women with and without AD/HD. This thesis concluded that there are female-specific EEG anomalies and that the existing male-dominated EEG-AD/HD literature does not apply to females.

Share

COinS