Risk-Taking Behavior in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): a Review of Potential Underlying Mechanisms and of Interventions

Yehuda Pollak*, Tycho J. Dekkers, Rachel Shoham, Hilde M. Huizenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of Review: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with several forms of risk-taking behavior (RTB). This paper aims to examine the scope of ADHD-related RTB, to highlight potential underlying mechanisms of this association, and to review initial evidence for interventions aimed to treat ADHD-related RTB. Recent Findings: Multiple lines of evidence indicate that ADHD is associated with real-life RTB across several domains (e.g., reckless driving, substance use, and unprotected sex), which is corroborated by evidence on laboratory risk–taking tasks. Several individual differences, some of them informed by decision theory, e.g., comorbid disorders, parental monitoring, and perceived enlarged benefits of RTB, may explain the link between ADHD and RTB. A number of studies showed that interventions designed for ADHD may reduce RTB. Summary: ADHD is linked to RTB across several domains. Decision theory may serve as a conceptual framework for understanding the underlying mechanisms, and thus may inform future research.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number33
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Decision theory
  • Expected utility
  • Heuristics
  • Risk return
  • Risk-taking behavior

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