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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011 Mar;52(3):256-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02347.x. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Delay discounting of reward in ADHD: application in young children.

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1
Department of Behavioral Neuroscience Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, USA Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A key underlying process that may contribute to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) involves alterations in reward evaluation, including assessing the relative value of immediate over delayed rewards. This study examines whether children with ADHD discount the value of delayed rewards to a greater degree than typically developing children using a delay discounting task.

METHODS:

Children aged 7-9 years diagnosed with ADHD and controls completed a task in which they chose between a hypothetical $10 available after a delay (7, 30, 90 and 180 days) versus various amounts available immediately.

RESULTS:

ADHD participants discounted more steeply than controls. However, this effect did not survive covarying of IQ.

CONCLUSIONS:

ADHD is associated with a steeper delay gradient when contemplating hypothetical later rewards, but not independently of IQ. The interplay of cognitive processing and IQ with reward evaluation in ADHD requires further exploration.

PMID:
21083561
PMCID:
PMC3059765
DOI:
10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02347.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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