Associations of memory and executive functioning with academic and adaptive functioning among youth with perinatal HIV exposure and/or infection

for the Memory and Executive Functioning Study of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study

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17 Scopus citations


Background. Perinatally acquired HIV (PHIV) confers risk for neurocognitive impairment, which potentially affects school performance and functional independence of infected children. In this study, we examined the associations of 2 key neurocognitive domains, memory and executive function (EF), with academic and adaptive skills among youth with PHIV and perinatally HIV-exposed but uninfected (PHEU) youth. Methods. Participants ages 9 to <19 years enrolled in the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study's Memory and Executive Functioning Study completed standardized measures of reading and math. The primary caregivers completed a standardized measure of their child's adaptive behavior. Participants with PHIV, those with (PHIV/ C) and without (PHIV/non-C) a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention class C diagnosis, and PHEU participants were compared. Retrospective memory (RM), prospective memory (PM), and EF were evaluated relative to outcomes using general linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics. Results. Of the participants (N = 258; mean age, 14.1 years), 46% were male, 75% were black, and 18% were Hispanic. Adjusted mean scores in math and adaptive behavior did not differ among the youth with PHIV/C (n = 45), those with PHIV/non-C (n = 128), and PHEU youth (n = 85). Youth with PHIV/C had lower adjusted mean reading scores than PHIV/non-C and PHEU youth (86.9 vs 93.8 [P = .02] and 93.2 [P = .04], respectively). There were positive associations of RM, PM, EF, and some sociodemographic characteristics with higher reading and math scores. Immediate and delayed verbal memory, delayed visual memory, PM, and some EF measures were positively associated with adaptive behavior. Conclusions. Higher-order cognitive abilities such as memory and EF seem to play a key role in academic and adaptive capacities, regardless of a child's HIV status, and might serve as intervention targets for improving functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S24-S32
JournalJournal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
StatePublished - 2016


  • Academics
  • Adaptive functioning
  • Executive function
  • Memory
  • Perinatal HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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