Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Lozowski-Sullivan

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Amy Matthews


ADHD, impulsive choice, children


Developmentally inappropriate and impairing impulsive behaviors are often seen in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One method for objectively assessing impulsivity is the Choice-Delay Task (C-DT) which presents repeated opportunities to choose between a smaller, sooner (SS) or larger, later (LL) reward. A preference for the SS reward that results in less total reward is considered impulsive. Many studies have found that participants diagnosed with ADHD choose the SS reward more than typical controls. However, less is known about the effects of different types of rewards, or the comparative performance of certain subgroups, such as children diagnosed with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type (ADHD-IA) versus ADHD Combined Type (ADHD-C) and children prescribed psychostimulants. Experiment 1 evaluates impulsive choice on the C-DT in 10 unmedicated children diagnosed with ADHD. A multielement design is used to compare impulsive choice in two conditions (points and video rewards). A non-experimental group design is used to compare impulsive choice across ADHD subtype. Descriptive statistics and visual analysis indicate that impulsive choice is higher when the reward is video with a large degree of variability in level and trend across participants. There are different patterns for ADHD subtypes in the points condition. There is a decrease in impulsive choice after the first session and overall lower level in the ii ADHD-IA group whereas there is an increase after the second session and overall higher level in the ADHD-C group. Experiment 2 evaluates impulsive choice on the C-DT in three children taking psychostimulants for ADHD. A multielement design is used to compare impulsive choice in the two C-DT conditions. The effect of reward type on level of impulsive choice and trend of data paths is variable across participants. Potential explanations for the results, limitations, and implications are discussed.


Dr. Cynthia Pietras is the 5th advisor.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until