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Behav Brain Funct. 2005 Jun 27;1(1):8.

Executive and motivational processes in adolescents with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Brain and Behaviour Research Program, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.



The objective of the current study was to examine performance and correlates of performance on a decision-making card task involving risky choices (Iowa Gambling Task) in adolescents with ADHD and comparison controls. Forty-four participants with ADHD and 34 controls were administered measures of estimated intellectual ability, working memory, and the card task. Also, behavioural ratings were obtained from parents and teachers.


Adolescents with ADHD scored lower on the measures of intellectual ability, working memory, and made less advantageous selections on the card task compared to controls. Performance on measures of intellectual ability and working memory were unrelated to card task performance in both the ADHD and control samples. Parent ratings of hyperactivity/impulsivity were significantly associated with card task performance in the adolescents with ADHD, but not in controls.


These findings demonstrate impaired decision-making in adolescents with ADHD, and the separability of motivational and executive function processes, supporting current dual pathway models of ADHD.

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