ADHD and the avoidance of mental effort: the role of response inhibition and avoidance motivation

Orhan, Ibrahim, Corr, Philip J. and Krupić, Dino (2023) ADHD and the avoidance of mental effort: the role of response inhibition and avoidance motivation. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 45 (6). pp. 537-552. doi:10.1080/13803395.2023.2284974

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Objective: The tendency of people with ADHD to avoid tasks that require mental effort impacts their academic achievement. Findings in the literature suggest that children with ADHD find cognitive tasks more effortful and uncomfortable than their typically developing peers. However, neuropsychological processes contributing to this remain unclear. The present study investigated whether the relationship between prepotent motor response inhibition and avoiding mental effort is mediated by the ability to resist avoidance motivation and whether this proposed mediation mechanism is contingent on ADHD diagnosis. Method: 40 children with ADHD and 40 gender and age-matched typically developing peers participated in the study. They completed the Cognitive Effort Avoidance Measure, the Go/No-go Task, and the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory-Personality Questionnaire-Children. Mediation and moderated mediation analyses were employed to test the hypotheses. Results: Children with ADHD scored lower in response inhibition and resisting avoidance motivation. Poorer scores in these variables were associated with a higher avoidance rate. Moreover, the ability to resist avoidance motivation completely mediated the relationship between response inhibition and avoidance rate only among children with ADHD. Conclusion: Findings imply that poorer response inhibition led to an increase in avoidance motivation among children with ADHD, which becomes challenging to regulate effectively due to an impairment in the ability to resist avoidance motivation. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ADHD; Avoiding mental effort; Prepotent motor response inhibition; rRST-BIS; Resisting avoidance motivation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 17:17
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2024 12:00

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