Soft neurological signs and impulsivity in children

Benedetto Vitiello, David Stoff, Marc Atkins, Anne Mahoney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


To evaluate the relationship between soft neurological signs and various proposed dimensions of impulsivity (behavioral and cognitive), 31 boys (6–13 years, mean ± SD 10.1 ± 1.8) with disruptive behavior disorders, and 45 age-matched boys without DSM-III-R pathology, were independently assessed on clinical ratings of impulsivity, a battery of cognitive tests intended to score impulsive responding, and a neurological examination for soft signs. After being corrected for age, neurological soft signs correlated positively with impulsive responding on the Matching Familiar Figures Test (inpatients and normals) and the Continuous Performance Test (in normals), but not with IQ or clinical impulsivity rating scores. These findings suggest a relationship between neurological dysfunction/immaturity and performance on specific tasks requiring response inhibition, thus adding value to the cognitive assessment of impulsivity. J Dev Behav Pediatr 11:112–115, 1990. Index terms: Soft neurological signs, impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-115
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Impulsivity
  • Soft neurological signs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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