Nancy A. Neef, Julie Marckel, Summer J. Ferreri, David F. Bicard, Sayaka Endo, Michael G. Aman, Kelly M. Miller, Sunhwa Jung, Lindsay Nist, & Nancy Armstrong (2005). Behavioral assessment of impulsivity: A comparison of children with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 23-37.

We conducted a brief computer-based assessment involving choices of concurrently presented arithmetic problems associated with competing reinforcer dimensions to assess impulsivity (choices controlled primarily by reinforcer immediacy) as well as the relative influence of other dimensions (reinforcer rate, quality, and response effort), with 58 children. Results were compared for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who were and were not receiving medication, and with typically developing children without ADHD. Within-subject and between- groups analyses of the ordinal influence of each of the reinforcer dimensions were conducted using both time- and response-allocation measures. In general, the choices of children with ADHD were most influenced by reinforcer immediacy and quality and least by rate and effort, suggesting impulsivity. The choices of children in the non-ADHD group were most influenced by reinforcer quality, and the influence of immediacy relative to the other dimensions was not statistically significant. Results are discussed with respect to the implications for assessment and treatment of ADHD.

DESCRIPTORS: attention deficity hyperactivity disorder, assessment, impulsivity, delay, concurrent schedules