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,
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