Relations between the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) and the Children's Memory Scale (CMS)

J Atten Disord. 2007 Sep;11(2):167-71. doi: 10.1177/1087054706295653. Epub 2007 May 9.


Objective: There is considerable overlap in the constructs of attention and memory. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), a measure of attention, to components of memory and learning as measured by the Children's Memory Scale (CMS).

Method: Participants (N = 105) were consecutive referrals to an out-patient facility, generally for learning or behavior problems, who were administered both the TOVA and the CMS.

Results: Significant correlations were found between the omissions score on the TOVA and subscales of the CMS. TOVA variability and TOVA reaction time correlated significantly with subscales of the CMS as well. TOVA commission errors did not correlate significantly with any CMS Index.

Conclusion: Although significant, the correlation coefficients indicate that the CMS and TOVA are measuring either different constructs or similar constructs but in different ways. As such, both measures may be useful in distinguishing memory from attention problems.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Recall*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reading
  • Speech Perception
  • Verbal Learning