Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between working memory and inhibition in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), high-functioning autism (HFA), and Tourette syndrome (TS), compared to normally developing children. Furthermore, the contribution of variation in processing speed on working memory and inhibition was investigated in these childhood psychopathologies. Method: Four groups of children are reported in this study: 65 children with ADHD, 66 children with HFA, 24 children with TS, and 82 normal control children. All children were in the age range of 6-13 years. Results: The relationship between working memory and inhibition was similar in children with ADHD, HFA, TS, and normally developing children. The relationship between both domains did not alter significantly for any of the groups, when variation in processing speed was taken into account. More symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity are related to a poorer inhibitory process and greater response variability. More symptoms of autism are related to a poorer working memory process. Conclusion: The current study showed that working memory, inhibition, and response variability, are distinct, but related cognitive domains in children with developmental psychopathologies. Research with experimental manipulations is needed to tackle the exact relationship between these cognitive domains. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.