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Excessive Daydreaming, Mental Confusion, and Slowed Behavior/Cognition: Current Research & Assessments for Cognitive Disengagement Syndrome

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Stephen P. Becker, PhD
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Oct 03, 2022
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Digital Recording
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Some people have a specific type of attentional difficulties that are different from ADHD. These symptoms, like excessive daydreaming, mental confusion, and underactivity are referred to as Cognitive Disengagement Syndrome (CDS)—previously sluggish cognitive tempo. Individuals with CDS experience difficulties in their academic/occupational work and in their social relationships.

View Stephen P. Becker, PhD, psychologist, researcher, author, and speaker specializing in ADHD, sleep, and CDS in children and adolescents as he:

  • Breaks down CDS and its separation from ADHD
  • Summarizes recent research on the impact of CDS symptoms on youth and adult function
  • Provides current assessment approaches, including freely available rating scales to assess CDS across the life span

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to assess for ADHD’s lesser known—but just as prominent and debilitating cousin—Cognitive Disengagement Syndrome!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.


Stephen P. Becker, PhD's Profile

Stephen P. Becker, PhD Related seminars and products

Stephen P. Becker, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. His research, funded by the US National Institutes of Health and Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, examines attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognitive disengagement syndrome (sluggish cognitive tempo), and sleep in children and adolescents. Dr. Becker’s focus is on better understanding the developmental pathways of ADHD, co-occurring psychopathologies, and functional impairments. He has published over 200 articles on these and related topics and recently edited a book on ADHD in adolescents (Guilford Press). Dr. Becker is a Joint Editor of JCCP Advances and serves on the editorial boards of Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Attention Disorders, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and Adolescent Research Review, and Adolescent Research Review, and on the advisory board of The ADHD Report. He can be found online at or on Twitter at @spbecker.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Stephen Becker has employment relationships with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is the co-investigator of Secretariat of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spanish Government and the principal investigator of the National Institute of Mental Health and the Institute of Education Sciences. Stephen Becker receives royalties as a published author. He receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Stephen Becker is a grant panel reviewer for the Institute of Education Sciences and the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation. He serves on several editorial boards, for a complete list contact PESI, Inc. Stephen Becker is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Association for Psychological Science, the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, and the National Sleep Foundation.


  1. Distinguish cognitive disengagement syndrome (CDS) from ADHD and other mental health conditions.
  2. Apply recent scientific findings of the impact of CDS symptoms for better academic, occupational, mental health, and social function in children and adults.
  3. Assess CDS using reliable and valid rating scales for use with children and adults.


  • Cognitive Disengagement Syndrome (CDS)  
    • Construct 
    • Differentiation from ADHD and other mental health domains 
  • Impact of CDS on Academic, Occupational, Mental Health, and Social Functioning 
    • What recent research says 
    • Apply research for overall better functioning 
  • Measures to Assess CDS in Children and Adults 
    • Reliable and valid rating scales 
    • Risk and limitations 

Target Audience

  • Psychologists 
  • Licensed Clinical/Mental Health Counselors 
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel 
  • Marriage & Family Therapists 
  • Social Workers 
  • School Administrators 
  • SLPs


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