This study examined the effect of perinatal HIV-1 infection on emerging executive skills in children (n = 161) ages 8 to 12 years. HIV-positive (n = 76) and HIV-negative (n = 85) children were eligible to participate. The HIV-positive children included those who had experienced a CDC Class C event (greater severity, n = 22) and those who were HIV-positive but who had not experienced a CDC Class C event (less severity, n = 54). Measures of emerging executive functions completed by the children included subtests from the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment (NEPSY), the Trail-Making Test-Part B, and a subtest from the Woodcock-Johnson Battery-Revised. Ratings of executive functions were obtained from caretakers using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions. Generalized estimating equations methods, discriminate analyses, and global deficit score analyses were performed to determine whether differences emerged between the three clinical groups while using strict controls. The present results revealed significant group differences in unadjusted mean scores measuring executive functioning. However, such differences did not remain statistically significant when moderating variables were taken into consideration in the models. The apparent deficit in executive functioning for the HIV-positive children was found to be largely due to differential psychosocial and environmental factors rather than HIV disease and its severity, and in this cohort, the effects of HIV-1 infection on emerging executive functions appeared to be negligible when controlling for treatment and moderating psychosocial variables.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology