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Schonfeld, I. S., Shaffer, D., & Barmack, J.E. (1989). Neurological soft signs and school achievement: The mediating effects of sustained attention. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17, 575-596. doi:10.1007/BF00917723


A group of 115 Black male adolescents were examined at age 17 to determine the relation between soft signs and performance on standard tests of school achievement and sustained attention. Three types of motor signs (dysgraphesthesia, dysdiadochokinesis, and motor slowness) were related to lower concurrent and past IQ and impaired performance on laboratory and paper-and-pencil measures of sustained attention. The relation between signs and the attentional measures remained significant after IQ was statistically controlled. The 3 age 17 soft signs as well as age 7 signs were related to impaired performance on standardized tests (age 17) of school achievement. Most of the relation between signs and school achievement could be accounted for by the variance signs shared with sustained attention.



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