What Drives Risky Behavior in ADHD: Insensitivity to its Risk or Fascination with its Potential Benefits?

Rachel Shoham*, Edmund Sonuga-Barke, Ilan Yaniv, Yehuda Pollak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: ADHD is linked to increased engagement in risky behavior (ERB). Recent work suggests that this link is mediated by the perceived benefits of the behaviors, but not by the perceived risks or the attitudes toward the risks. Here we examine this hypothesis, using the psychological risk-return and psychometric multidimensional measurement models. Method: Adults with or without ADHD completed questionnaires measuring the likelihood of different risky behaviors and the perceived risks and benefits ascribed to these behaviors. Participants’ ratings of 25 characteristics of various risky behaviors allowed us to derive two factors corresponding to perceived risk and perceived benefit of ERBs. Overall attitudes toward the perceived risks and benefits were extracted. Results: Perceived benefit mediated the link between ADHD and ERB, in both models. Attitudes toward the perceived risks mediated that link in the psychometric model only. Conclusion: Perceived benefit plays an important role in the link between ADHD and ERB.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1988-2002
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume25
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© ©The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • decision making
  • perceptions
  • psychometrics
  • risky behavior

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