Do Neuropsychological Deficits Predict Anger Dysregulation in Adults with ADHD?

Tracey McDonagh*, Áine Travers, Jessica Bramham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine the relationship between anger and neuropsychological functioning in adults with ADHD. Method: Seventy adults with ADHD were assessed. Correlational and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed using neurocognitive tasks and subscales of the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI)-trait anger, anger out, anger control, while controlling for anxiety and depression (HADS), and full-scale IQ (WASI). Selective, divided, and shifting attention were assessed using the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA) subscales. Sustained attention was measured using Continuous Performance Test (CPT) scores. Response inhibition was measured using scores from the CPT and Matching Familiar Figures test (MFFT). Results: Trait anger and anger out were both found to have a significant relationship to shifting attention (TEA - visual elevator task) and anxiety. Anger control was found to have a significant relationship to response inhibition (MFFT). Conclusion: Anger was significantly related to two measures of neuropsychological functioning, and anxiety. Shifting attention was more significantly associated with trait anger and anger out than response inhibition, which was significantly related to anger control. These findings have the potential to inform targeted interventions in forensic psychiatry and may have implications regarding which model of ADHD best accounts for anger dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Volume18
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)200-211
ISSN1499-9013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3. Jul 2019

Keywords

  • anger
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Emotional regulation
  • neurocognition
  • violent offending

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