Forty-nine carefully diagnosed adults with persistent attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who had never been medicated for their ADHD, were compared with 49 normal control adults matched for age and gender on a large battery of tests in five domains of executive functioning (inhibition, fluency, planning, working memory, and set shifting) and several other neuropsychological functions to control for nonexecutive test demands. After stringent controls for nonexecutive function demands and IQ, adults with ADHD showed problems in inhibition and set shifting but not in any of the other executive functioning domains tested. We argue that adult ADHD may be mainly a disorder of inhibition.

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Department of Psychology

Boonstra, A.M, Kooij, J.J.S, Oosterlaan, J, Sergeant, J.A, & Buitelaar, J.K. (2010). To act or not to act, that's the problem: Primarily inhibition difficulties in adult ADHD. Neuropsychology, 24(2), 209–221. doi:10.1037/a0017670