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Cognitive Effects of Risperidone in Children

Anova Article Critique

Read the article “Cognitive Effects of Risperidone in Children with Autism and Irritable Behavior,” and
identify the research questions and/or hypotheses as they are stated. Consider the following questions:
What are the variables (sample sizes, population, treatments, etc.)? How was the analysis of variance

used in this article (and what type of ANOVA was used)?

Write a two- to three-page paper presenting the information listed below. In addition, provide a title page
and reference page in APA style. Cite any references made to the article within the body of the paper in
APA style. Your paper should begin with an introductory paragraph (including a thesis statement) and end
with a concluding paragraph summarizing the major points made in the body of the paper and reaffirming

the thesis.

The body of your paper must:

1.Determine what question(s) the authors are trying to answer by doing this research.
2.Determine the hypothesis being tested and the concepts that were applied in this process.
3.Evaluate the article and critique the statistical analysis employed in the study. Would you have included

more and/or different variables? Explain your answer.

4.Examine the assumptions and limitations of the statistical study. What would you have done differently

in this case? Explain your answer.

5.Identify how the authors applied statistical testing to the problem.
6.Interpret the findings of the author(s) using statistical concepts.


Anova Article Critique

The study aimed at exploring the impacts risperidone had on the cognitive processes for
children with irritable behavior and autism. The study was founded on the fact that there was an
exceptionally sparse literature that focused on the cognitive impacts of atypical antipsychotics in
adolescents and adults (Aman et al., 2008). A majority of the current literature focused on adults
suffering from schizophrenia and several investigations with Alzheimer’s disease patients.


The question the authors were trying to answer is if risperidone had an impact on the
cognitive performance of autism children where there were critical behavior challenges (Aman et
al., 2008).

Hypothesis and concepts

The study was based on a null hypothesis that no differences would be expected between
risperidone and placebo. The study was also founded on exploratory comparison since no data
was available on AAPs (atypical antipsychotics) in autism children during the trial.

Statistical analysis and variables

Worth noting is that the study was basically a multi-site investigation in five medical
centers and this would take care of any disparities in treatment of patients in the five centers. The
entry criteria was two stage; assessment during the screen visit and participants who qualified in
this criteria were then reassessed using clinical instruments at the baseline and every week for

the following eight weeks. This is a praiseworthy strategy since participants with only the needed
criteria participated in the study (Aman et al., 2008).
The researchers in the study were keen to use a very comprehensive inclusion criteria
where the participants had to have had autism for more that eighteen months. Moreover, they
were subjected to the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-
S) score, and a lifetime autistic disorder based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders.

Statistical study’s limitations and assumptions

The flexible dosing schedule was founded on the time study, participants’ weight,
adverse events’ emergence, and clinical response (Aman et al., 2008). However, age should also
have been a factor considering that even medications may react differently based on the age.

How statistical testing was applied

Statistical analysis was conducted among children with valid task measures. An
operational principles’ set were used by a tester to assess mastery in every site and other testers
were consulted prior to breaking the blind. The study applied ChiSquare tests and t-tests in
determining whether children who had mastered differed from their counterparts based on IQ,
age, gender, ABC Irritability subscale score, and the CGI-Severity score. The analysis of
cognitive data was as a function of time and drug. General Linear Models SPSS package was
utilized for the results analysis with repetitions of ANOVA tests measures. There was provision
of p values as well as effect sizes. In the tests, the p value was less than 0.5 and this indicated
statistical significance (Aman et al., 2008).

Interpretation of the authors’ findings using statistical concepts

The interpretations were based on cognitive measures and subjects. Based on the
statistical analyses that were done, there was no significant decline in the attention, short-term
verbal memory, and hand-eye coordination measures. However, significant improvements were
noted with risperidone in Cacellation Task and Verbal Learning Task. There was equivocal
improvement as far as the Spatial Memory Task was concerned.

The study was detailed and even made suggestions for future studies. The clinical
implication of the study was that risperidone should be prescribed to school children who had
autism. Moreover, the study’s limitations have been discussed.



Aman, M. G., Hollway, J. A., McDougle, C. J., Scahill, L., Tierney, E., McCracken, J. T.,
Arnold, L. E., Vitiello, B., Ritz, L., Gavaletz, A., Cronin, P., Swiezy, N., Wheeler, C.,
Koenig, K., Ghuman, J. K., & Posey, D. J. (2008). Cognitive Effects of Risperidone in
Children with Autism and Irritable Behavior. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol, 18(3):

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