Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 215–228 | Cite as

The Ecological Validity of Delay Aversion and Response Inhibition as Measures of Impulsivity in AD/HD: A Supplement to the NIMH Multimodal Treatment Study of AD/HD

  • Mary V. Solanto
  • Howard Abikoff
  • Edmund Sonuga-Barke
  • Russell Schachar
  • Gordon D. Logan
  • Tim Wigal
  • Lily Hechtman
  • Stephen Hinshaw
  • Elihu Turkel

Abstract

Impulsivity is a primary symptom of the combined type of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). The Stop Signal Paradigm is premised upon a primary deficit in inhibitory control in AD/HD, whereas the Delay Aversion Hypothesis, by contrast, conceptualizes impulsivity in AD/HD, not as an inability to inhibit a response, but rather as a choice to avoid delay. This study compared the ecological validity of the Stop Signal Task (SST) and Choice-Delay Task (C-DT) measure of delay aversion, with respect to their relative utility in discriminating AD/HD children from normal control participants, and their correlations with classroom observations and with ratings of impulsivity and other core AD/HD symptoms on the Conners and SNAP-IV checklists. The tasks exhibited modest discriminant validity when used individually and excellent discriminant validity when used in combination. The C-DT correlated with teacher ratings of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and conduct problems, and with observations of gross motor activity, physical aggression, and an AD/HD composite score. The SST correlated with the observations only. These results suggest that delay aversion is associated with a broad range of AD/HD characteristics whereas inhibitory failure seems to tap a more discrete dimension of executive control

AD/HD children impulsivity inhibitory control Stop Signal Task delay aversion 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary V. Solanto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Howard Abikoff
    • 1
    • 3
  • Edmund Sonuga-Barke
    • 4
  • Russell Schachar
    • 5
  • Gordon D. Logan
    • 6
  • Tim Wigal
    • 7
  • Lily Hechtman
    • 8
  • Stephen Hinshaw
    • 9
  • Elihu Turkel
    • 10
  1. 1.Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Schneider Children's HospitalLong Island Jewish Medical CenterNew Hyde Park
  2. 2.Division of Child PsychiatryMt. Sinai Medical CenterNew York
  3. 3.New York University Child Study CenterNew York
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  5. 5.Department of Child Psychiatry, The Hospital for Sick ChildrenUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisChampaign
  7. 7.Department of PediatricsUniversity of CaliforniaIrvine
  8. 8.Division of Child PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  9. 9.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley
  10. 10.Department of Psychiatry, Hillside HospitalLong Island Jewish Medical CenterNew Hyde Park

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