Parental assessment of executive function and internalizing and externalizing behavior in primary hypertension after anti-hypertensive therapy

J Pediatr. 2010 Jul;157(1):114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.12.053. Epub 2010 Mar 15.


Objective: To determine the change in parental ratings of executive function and behavior in children with primary hypertension after anti-hypertensive therapy.

Study design: Parents of subjects with untreated hypertension and control subjects completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) to assess behavioral correlates of executive function and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to assess internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Subjects with hypertension subsequently received anti-hypertensive therapy to achieve casual blood pressure (BP)<95th percentile. After 12 months, all parents again completed the BRIEF and CBCL.

Results: Twenty-two subjects with hypertension and 25 normotensive control subjects underwent both baseline and 12-month assessments. The BP of subjects with hypertension improved (24-hour systolic BP [SBP] load: mean baseline versus 12-months, 60% versus 25%, P<.001). Parent ratings of executive function improved from baseline to 12 months in the subjects with hypertension (BRIEF Global Executive Composite T-score, Delta=-5.9, P=0.001), but not in the normotensive control subjects (Delta=-0.36, P=.83). In contrast, T-scores on the CBCL Internalizing and Externalizing summary scales did not change significantly from baseline to 12 months in either subjects with hypertension or control subjects.

Conclusions: Children with hypertension demonstrated improvement in parental ratings of executive function after 12 months of anti-hypertensive therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Checklist
  • Executive Function*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / psychology*
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents