Adolescents’ executive functions: Links to inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, trait mindfulness, and attachment relationships with fathers and mothers

Michal Al-Yagon, Tal Borenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and objectives: Considering the important role of executive functions (EF) for adjustment across the lifespan, this study aimed to deepen understanding of protective/risk factors for EF in a potentially vulnerable population: adolescents with ADHD. This study compared adolescents with versus without ADHD for differences in EF, attachment relationships with fathers/mothers, and trait mindfulness and investigated these possible protective/risk factors’ contributions to EF in both adolescent groups. Methods: Ninth graders (N = 91; 49 boys, 42 girls) ages 14–15 years (M = 14.50, SD = 0.50) comprised 45 with ADHD and 46 with typical development (TD). Adolescents completed three self-reports (trait mindfulness, attachment to mother/father). Mothers rated their adolescents’ ADHD symptoms and EF. Results and conclusion: Significantly more maladaptive outcomes emerged for adolescents with ADHD than TD in their EF, attachment with mothers, and mindfulness. Regression analyses demonstrated the significant risk posed by ADHD symptoms and the protection offered by trait mindfulness and attachment with fathers in explaining EF. Discussion focused on understanding these protective/risk factors’ possibly unique and complementary roles, suggesting interventions for adolescents with ADHD in family and school settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104212
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume124
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Attachment
  • Executive functions
  • Fathers
  • Hyperactivity-impulsivity
  • Inattention
  • Mothers
  • Trait mindfulness

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