Examining Relationships Between Executive Functioning and Delay Aversion in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Sarah L. Karalunas, Cynthia L. Huang-Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Although motivation and cognition are often examined separately, recent theory suggests that a delay-averse motivational style may negatively impact development of executive functions (EFs), such as working memory (WM) and response inhibition (RI) for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; Sonuga-Barke, 2002). This model predicts that performance on delay aversion and EF tasks should be correlated for school-age children with ADHD. However, tests of these relationships remain sparse. Forty-five children ages 8 to 12 with ADHD and 46 non-ADHD controls completed tasks measuring EFs and delay aversion. Children with ADHD had poorer WM and RI than non-ADHD controls, as well as nonsignificantly worse delay aversion. Consistent with previous research, RI was not related to delay aversion. However, delay aversion did predict WM scores for children with and without ADHD. Implications for the dual-pathway hypothesis and future research on cognitive and motivational processing in ADHD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-847
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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