Response execution and inhibition in children with AD/HD and other disruptive disorders: the role of behavioural activation

A. Scheres, J. Oosterlaan, J. A. Sergeant

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This study was aimed at (a) replicating findings of slow and variable response execution and slow response inhibition in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). (b) investigating whether these deficits are specifically related to AD/HD or may also be observed in Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and children comorbid for AD/HD+ODD, and (c) examining the role of activation level in task performance of children with AD/HD. To meet these aims, the stop paradigm was administered at three levels of activation, using a slow, medium, and fast presentation rate of stimuli, to 4 groups of children: 24 AD/HD children, 21 children with ODD, 27 children with comorbid AD/HD + ODD, and 41 normal controls. As hypothesized, children with AD/HD exhibited a slow response execution process with considerable variability in the speed of responding compared to normal controls. Slow response execution was also observed in the comorbid AD/HD+ODD group but not in the pure ODD group. Larger variability in the speed of responding was common to all disruptive groups compared with controls. In contrast to our hypothesis, no group differences emerged for inhibitory functioning. Finally, the slow event rate condition caused a further deterioration in the speed of the response execution process in both the AD/HD group and ODD group
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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