Predominantly Inattentive ADHD Experts

I have been asked by many readers to steer them towards reading materials, books or other resources that has specific information about Predominantly Inattentive ADHD (ADHD-PI, ADHD/IA, ADHD/I, IN) or about Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT).

There are no good books devoted to ADHD-PI or to SCT. There are publications in journals and chapters in books that may discuss ASHD-PI and SCT but there are no books (worth reading) entirely devoted to either of these topics.

In my humble opinion, if an expert were to write a book worth reading, it would probably be written by one of the researcher listed below. I have included short quotes or findings that they have written with regards to ADHD-PI or SCT.

Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.
Professor in the Department Psychiatry
SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY.

“There is considerably less research on the Predominantly Inattentive Type of ADHD, or what used to be referred to as attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity. What research does exist suggests some qualitative differences between the attention problems these individuals experience and those with the other types of ADHD in which hyperactive or impulsive behavior is present. The Predominantly Inattentive Type of ADHD appears to be associated with more daydreaming, passiveness, sluggishness, and difficulties with focused or selective attention (filtering important from unimportant information), slow processing of information, mental fogginess and confusion, social quietness or apprehensiveness, hypo-activity, and inconsistent retrieval of information from memory. It is also considerably less likely to be associated with impulsiveness (by definition) as well as oppositional/defiant behavior, conduct problems, or delinquency. Should further research continue to demonstrate such differences, there would be good reason to view this subtype as actually a separate and distinct disorder from that of ADHD.”

Mary V. Solanto, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC, NY

“The predominantly inattentive (IN) subtype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a recently defined condition that is often overlooked by professionals and is still not completely understood. Characterized by symptoms of inattentiveness, such as distractibility, failure to complete work, forgetfulness, and disorganization, the IN subtype differs from the more commonly recognized combined (CB) subtype of ADHD in that symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity are absent or minimal. Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that the IN subtype is at least as prevalent as the CB subtype, and is at least as likely to be associated with academic and/or social impairment. Diagnosis of the IN subtype, however, may be more challenging because in addition to inattentiveness, other symptoms, including learning problems, depression, and anxiety, may also present without externalizing behaviors. Several studies have shown that compared with the CB subtype, the IN subtype has a later age of onset and referral, a relatively larger proportion of affected females, and is much less likely to be associated with symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.”

Patricia Quinn, M.D.
Director of the National Center for Gender Issues and ADHD in Washington, D.C.

“Another reason that ADHD is often missed in girls is that they’re more likely than boys to suffer from inattentive ADHD. The symptoms of this sub-type (which include poor attention to detail, limited attention span, forgetfulness, distractibility, and failure to finish assigned activities) tend to be less disruptive and obvious than those of hyperactive ADHD. Put simply, a (hyperactive) boy who repeatedly bangs on his desk will be noticed before the (inattentive) girl who twirls her hair while staring out the window. “

Caryn L. Carlson, Ph.D. 
Professor of Psychology and Associate Chair
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

“High-SCT ADHD/IA children were rated by teachers as showing less externalizing behavior and higher levels of unhappiness, anxiety/depression, withdrawn behavior, and social dysfunction. Thus, SCT identifies a more homogeneous subgroup of ADHD/IA children who are, relative to the entire Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed. [DSM-IV]; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994) diagnosed ADHD/IA group, more similar to those classified in previous research as "attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity." These results support a reconsideration of SCT symptoms as a component of diagnostic criteria for a category of nonhyperactive attention deficit disorder.”

“Some motivational style differences between ADHD subtypes were also revealed, with the ADHD/C group more motivated by competitiveness and a desire to be perceived as superior to others and the ADHD/IA group less uncooperative and possibly more passive in their learning styles.”

Natalie Grizenko, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,

On comparing children with Combined type ADHD (ADHD/CH) to the ADHD inattentive subtype (ADHD/I), Grizenko writes: “The ADHD/CH children show both a higher frequency of conduct disorder and good response to treatment (when compared to children with ADHD-PI) are exposed to more moderate stress during their mothers' pregnancy, and show a higher frequency of L/L genotype for the 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region.”

I wish that my list of experts was more exhaustive, and I wish that we did not have so many acronyms (ADHD-PI, ADHD/IA, ADHD/I, IN) that refer to the Predominantly Inattentive type of ADHD.  Thanks for reading and please advise me of any ADHD-PI or SCT expert that I have missed.

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