ALSPAC – Age 8.5 – TEA-Ch Dividing Attention (Dual Task)

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The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 8.5 sweep (Focus@8) using the Dividing Attention (Dual Task) measure from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch).

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Memory/Attention
Measures:Attention/concentration
Mental speed
Visual scanning
Selective attention
Working Memory
Auditory processing
CHC:Gsm (Short-Term Memory)
Gs (Processing Speed)
Gps (Psychomotor Speed)
Gv (Visual Processing)
Ga (Auditory Processing)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; pen and paper
Procedure:The previous selective attention task was repeated, however this time, a number of computer spaceship noises (which varied in length) played throughout the task, and the child was asked to count these noises. This task was also preceded by a practice attempt. The following three aspects of the test were recorded: time taken to complete, ii) number of errors, iii) number of spaceship noises correctly counted.
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:The overall score was calculated by dividing the time taken to complete the task by the number of correctly identified spaceships circled, and then dividing again by the number of spaceship noises correctly counted. A decrement score (f8at147) was also calculated by subtracting the selective attention task score prior to the adjustment for motor performance (f8at060) from the overall dual task score (f8at146), and this variable (f8at147) is recommended for use for researchers who are not overly familiar with the task.
Item-level variable(s):f8at100 - f8at160
Total score/derived variable(s):f8at148
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 7,224
Range = -34.09 - 270.88
Mean = 5.47
SD = 15.94
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants:Mean = 103.82 months, SD = 3.92, Range = 89 - 127
Other sweep and/or cohort:ALSPAC – Age 11.5 – TEA-Ch Dividing Attention (Dual Task)
Source:Robertson, I. H., Ward, T., Ridgeway, V., & Nimmo-Smith, I. (1996). The structure of normal human attention: The Test of Everyday Attention. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2(6), 525-534.
Manly, T., Anderson, V., Nimmo-Smith, I., Turner, A., Watson, P., & Robertson, I. H. (2001). The differential assessment of children's attention: The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch), normative sample and ADHD performance. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 42(8), 1065-1081.
Technical resources:Heaton, S. C., Reader, S. K., Preston, A. S., Fennell, E. B., Puyana, O. E., Gill, N., & Johnson, J. H. (2001). The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch): Patterns of performance in children with ADHD and clinical controls. Child Neuropsychology, 7(4), 251-264.
Reference examples:Chandramouli, L., Steer, C. D., Ellis, M., & Emond, A. M. (2009). Effects of early childhood lead exposure on academic performance and behaviour of school age children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94(11), 844-8.
Odd, D. E., Emond, A., & Whitelaw, A. (2012). Long-term cognitive outcomes of infants born moderately and late preterm. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 54(8), 704-709.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.