Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joseph Miller


Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT), a constellation of symptoms distinguished by daydreaming and lethargy, was previously thought to be characteristic of ADHD. However, it was found that this set of symptoms consistently loaded onto a separate factor. Increased interest in determining the diagnostic validity of SCT has led researchers to study SCT symptoms in relation to other psychological conditions, as well as various functional outcomes. The present study examined the extent to which SCT predicted poorer functioning across measures of cognition, academic achievement, and social problems above and beyond other factors that have been found to co-occur with SCT and independently relate to reduced performance in the aforementioned domains (e.g., IQ, ADHD symptoms, and internalizing symptoms). In a sample of 114 clinic-referred children and adolescents with and without ADHD diagnoses, two-step hierarchical regression results revealed that teacher rated SCT (n = 89) predicted simple processing speed performance over and above key covariates (IQ, ADHD symptoms, and internalizing symptoms). However, teacher ratings of SCT did not significantly relate to math computation performance or teacher rated social problems after adjusting for covariates. These results highlight the importance of continuing to explore potential functional deficits associated with SCT while being mindful of how other related factors, such as IQ, ADHD, and internalizing symptoms may influence those associations.