The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test: Distinguishing children's executive from constructional processes

Debra S. Bergeron (2006)

The present study examined whether a Structured administration of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) helped to distinguish children presumed to have executive deficits from children presumed to have constructional deficits. Children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 17) were chosen to represent the former group, and children diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD; n = 13) were chosen to represent the latter group. It was hypothesized that the inclusion of the Structured administration would control for executive deficits; thus, failure to improve with the Structured administration would suggest a predominance of constructional deficits. The archival records of clinical neuropsychological evaluations for 30 children, aged 6-17 years, were utilized. These records included the Standard and Structured administrations of the ROCF. The primary comparison of interest was the difference between Copy versus Immediate Recall productions for Standard versus Structured administrations of the ROCF. ROCF productions were assessed by the Developmental Scoring System. A 1 between, 2 within-subjects MANOVA was performed to analyze Organization, Structural Accuracy, Incidental Accuracy, and Error scores. Diagnostic group (ADHD versus NLD) was the between subjects factor, while Condition (Standard versus Structured administration) and Time (Copy and Immediate Recall productions) were the within-subjects factors. The Style score was analyzed via a chi square. The MANOVA revealed that the Structured administration helped both Diagnostic groups to encode and reproduce the ROCF. Mean scores for both groups increased, with no statistical difference between groups. Age was entered as a covariate and a 1 within-subjects factor. Age, time, and the interaction of time with age accounted for significant proportions of variance, regardless of Diagnostic group or Condition. For these within-subject factors, the Structured administration resulted in substantially greater recollection of structural components than the Standard administration alone. In the Standard administration, children in the NLD group produced significantly more part-oriented figures than did children from the ADHD group during the Immediate Recall trial. The findings did not support the hypothesis that the Structured administration would benefit the 2 diagnostic groups differentially. The Structured administration appeared to work as a beneficial memory aid for the recall of visual stimuli. Until the effects of the Structured administration can be demonstrated more clearly, caution should be taken in its use as a diagnostic indicator.