The effects of anxiety on continuous performance test functioning in an ADHD clinic sample


Journal Article

Several research studies have reported that the performance of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on continuous performance tests (CPTs) is affected by comorbid anxiety. However, the specific anxiety domains/symptoms that affect CPT performance as well as the particular CPT performance measures have been inconsistent across studies. The present study examines CPT performance in 158 ADHD clinic-referred children using measures derived from signal detection theory. Regression analyses are conducted to examine whether any of the anxiety domains from the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS) account for variance on CPT performance measures. The main finding of these analyses is that physiological anxiety appears to increase response inhibition, whereas cognitive anxiety appears to decrease response inhibition. This finding suggests that physiological anxiety alone may be responsible for increased response inhibition/decreased impulsivity in children with comorbid anxiety. These results are interpreted in the context of Gray's model of a behavioral inhibition system. Copyright © Multi-Health Systems Inc., 1997.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Epstein, JN; Goldberg, NA; Conners, CK; March, JS

Published Date

  • January 1, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 45 - 52

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1087-0547

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/108705479700200106

Citation Source

  • Scopus