Original Article

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 261-280

First online:

Implementation Intentions Facilitate Response Inhibition in Children with ADHD

  • Caterina GawrilowAffiliated withUniversity of Konstanz Email author 
  • , Peter M. GollwitzerAffiliated withPsychology Department, New York University

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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with action control problems such as failure to inhibit inappropriate responses. Two studies investigated whether self-regulation by implementation intentions (if-then plans; Gollwitzer, P. M. (1999). Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans. American Psychologist, 54, 493–503) facilitates response inhibition in children with ADHD. In Study 1, children with ADHD who furnished a suppression goal with implementation intentions improved inhibition of an unwanted response on a Go/No-Go task to the same level observed in children without ADHD. Study 2 showed that a combination of implementation intentions and psychostimulant medication resulted in the highest level of suppression performance in children with ADHD. Theoretical and applied implications of these results are discussed.


Children with ADHD Executive functions Response inhibition Self-regulation Implementation intentions