Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 134–145 | Cite as

Mental contrasting with implementation intentions enhances self-regulation of goal pursuit in schoolchildren at risk for ADHD

  • Caterina Gawrilow
  • Katrin Morgenroth
  • Regina Schultz
  • Gabriele Oettingen
  • Peter M. Gollwitzer
Original Paper


Self-regulation is an important prerequisite for successful academic achievement, particularly for children who are at risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We taught Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII), a technique that is known to facilitate the self-regulation of goal pursuit, to schoolchildren (sixth- and seventh-graders) both at risk and not at risk for ADHD. Parents rated their children’s level of self-regulation 2 weeks after the intervention. Children at risk and not at risk benefited from MCII more than from a learning style intervention only and the benefits of MCII were particularly strong for children at risk for ADHD. The results have implications with respect to supporting children’s self-regulation in their everyday school lives.


Self-regulation Mental contrasting Implementation intentions Children at risk for ADHD 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Gawrilow
    • 1
  • Katrin Morgenroth
    • 2
  • Regina Schultz
    • 2
  • Gabriele Oettingen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter M. Gollwitzer
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), Center for Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk (IDeA)Goethe-University of FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.University of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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