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The Psychological Record

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 289–303 | Cite as

Laboratory Measures of Impulsivity: A Comparison of Women with or Without Childhood Aggression

  • Charles W. Mathias
  • Donald M. Dougherty
  • Dawn M. Marsh
  • F. Gerard Moeller
  • Lisa R. Hicks
  • Kevin Dasher
  • Lee Bar-Eli
Article

Abstract

This study compared laboratory models of impulsive behavior in 60 women ages 18–40. Three groups (n = 20, each) were recruited: (1) normal controls, (2) women on probation/parole without childhood aggression (Fight-), and (3) women on probation/parole with childhood aggression (Fight+). Two types of impulsivity paradigms were compared: response-disinhibition/attentional [Immediate/Delayed Memory Task (IMT/DMT)] and delayed-reward [Single Key Impulsivity Paradigm (SKIP)] models. The Fight+ group performed more impulsively, responding with more commission errors (IMT/DMT) and shorter delay choices (SKIP) compared to either the Fight- or Control groups. Compared to the SKIP, the IMT and DMT tasks had larger effect sizes and a more orderly pattern of impulsive performance differences between groups. Women classified on the basis of childhood behavior (initiating physical aggression) are behaviorally distinct on laboratory measures of impulsiveness in adulthood.

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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Mathias
    • 1
  • Donald M. Dougherty
    • 1
  • Dawn M. Marsh
    • 1
  • F. Gerard Moeller
    • 1
  • Lisa R. Hicks
    • 1
  • Kevin Dasher
    • 1
  • Lee Bar-Eli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesNeurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic, The University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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